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JULY 1994 













AST ADVANTAGE! ADVENTURE with an Intel 486SX/33 to Pentium microprocessor, 4-8MB RAM, 170-540MB hard drive, 

microphone, mouse, 16-bit sound card, fax/modem. Microsoft DOS, Windows, Encarta, and Works -Multimedia Edition. 

Intuit Quicken, Prodigy, America Online. Our AST Works software makes it all easier. 

"Not that Junior isn't a great kid, 
but what am I, the babysitter? 
I'm an AST Advantage! computer, 

• multimedia no less. Intel 
486. Double speed CD- 
ROM. Stereo speakers. 
Pre-loaded with all kinds of software. 
And very reliable. 

"Let's just say Junior and I spend 
quality time together. We explore 
remote corners of the rain forest. 
That macaw screech cracks him up. 
We get the latest football scores and 
play his older sister's newest music 
CDs. Well, when she's not around. 

"By the way, have you met Ms. 
Social Success of the senior class? All 
afternoon, I take phone messages like 
some personal secretary while she's 
using Microsoft Encarta to research 
a report on the world's endangered 
species for biology class. 

"And she gets all the credit. She 
even got into Stanford. 

"Now that makes her Mom, the 
activist, very proud. Save the whales. 
Save the trees. You know the type. 
I can't tell you how many banners, 
newsletters, labels and mailing lists 

I crank out for her causes. My built- 
in fax/modem seldom rests. Neither 
does the AST 24-hour support line. 

"Of course, Dad is paying for the 
fancy education. He's got me tracking 
the college fund and balancing the 
checkbook, like I'm a financial whiz. 

"He claims to bring work home 
from the office. The truth is, he's got 
vacation on the brain. He's on-line 
now with the Prodigy travel planner, 
trying to line up one of those Amazon 
jungle adventure tours designed to 
alleviate a mid-life crisis. 

"The least demanding member 
of the family is Norbert. 
The cat. To him, macaw 
tropicalis is not exactly 
an endangered species. If s dinner. 

"So now you've met everyone, 
and you're wondering how they ever 
could have managed without me. 
They wondered too, until they knew 
just how easy I was to use. As I recall, 
Junior plugged me in. 

"What kind of things can I do for 
you? CaH 800-876-4AST. Let's talk." 



%1994 AST Research, Inc. All rights reserved. AST, AST Compute}; AST logo and Advantage! are registered trademarks of AST Research, Inc. The Intel Inside logo is a trademark 

of Intel Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Configurations and specifications may vary and are subject to change without notice. 

Circle Reader Service Number 267 



JULY 1994 



Edited by Mike Hudnall 

We test seven hot Windows 




By Rosalind Resnick 

A world of information waits 

for you on the Internet. 



By Richard O. Mann 

How to get the most from 

your home PC. 



By Tom Campbell 

FileMaker Pro 2.1 from 




By Clifton Karnes 

A look at COMPUTE'S 



By Clifton Karnes 

Windows traveling 



Edited by Robert Bixby 
Answers to tough questions. 



By Robert Bixby 
V.Fast Class modems. 



By Tom Campbell 
Visual Basic's Grid VBX. 



Edited by 
Richard C. Leinecker 
Tips from our readers. 

Creative and digital photo illustration by G. Fery of Nexvisions 



By Mark Minasi 

Rewiring the lights and 

switches after installing a 

new case. 



Tell us what you think. 



By Tony Roberts 

New versions of DOS are on 

the way. 



By Jill Champion Booth 
Top computer news. 



By David English 

27 new multimedia products 

from the 1994 intermedia 




By David Sears 

Creating a futuristic 

universe at Foundation 




Edited by Polly Cillpam 

Hot new hardware, cool new 




By David English 

Sound Blaster AWE32 from 

Creative Labs. 



By Peter Scisco 
TuneLand from 7th Level. 



By Peter Olafson 

Ball games, mergers, and 




By Scott A. May 

Fleet Defender from 




By Denny Atkin 

1942: The Pacific Air War 

and Star Reach. 



By Philip Chien 

Celebrate the 25th 

anniversary of the Apollo 

moon landing. 



MultiSpin 4X Pro, 

PC Tools for Windows 2.0, 

Word Attack 3, 

At Home, 


Flight Sim Toolkit, 

C.I.T.Y. 2000, 


Brother HJ-400, 

Places Rated Almanac, 


Isle of the Dead, 

and more. 


See page 112. 

COMPUTE (ISSN 0194-357X) is published monthly in the U.S. and Canada by COMPUTE Publications International Ltd., 1965 Broadway, New York. NY 10023-5965. Volume 16, Number 
7, Issue 166. Copyright © 1994 by COMPUTE Publications International Ltd. All rights reserved. COMPUTE is a registered trademark of COMPUTE Publications International Ltd. Distributed 
worldwide (except in Australia and the U.K.) by Curtis Circulation Company, P.O Box 9102, Pennsauken, NJ 08109. Distributed in Australia by The Horwitz Group, P.O. Box 306, Cammeray 
NSW 2062 Australia, and in the U.K. by Seymour Press Ltd., Windsor House, 1270 London Rd.. Norbury. London SW1642H England. Second-class postage paid at New York, NY, and at 
additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COMPUTE Magazine, P.O. Box 3245, Harlan, IA 51537-3041. (800) 727-6937. Entire contents copyrighted. All rights 
reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Subscriptions: U.S. and AFO — S19.94 per year. Canada — $32.04 per year, elsewhere — 
329.94 per year Single copies: U.S. — S2.95 each. The publisher disclaims all responsibility to return unsolicited matter, and all rights in portions published thereof remain the sole property 
of COMPUTE Publications International Ltd. Letters sent to COMPUTE or its editors become the property of the magazine. Editorial offices are located at 324 W. Wendover Ave.. Ste. 
200, Greensboro. NC 27408. (910) 275-9809. 

Printed in the U.S. by R. R. Donnelley & Sons Inc. #R126607415 





All the leaders of the gaming universe have joined 
forces. And now they're coming to get you. No 
other game experience can prepare you for what's 
waiting inside the new Game Blaster CD 16 mul- 
timedia upgrade kit* You get a Sound Blaster'" 
16-bit sound card and speakers that make all 
your games sound terrifyingly real. A double- 
speed CD-ROM, so all your games run 
$ fe^te, faster. An FX-2000 

joystick, so you can 
hone your reflexes. 
Not to mention the 

most outrageous games in the cosmos — Rebel 
Assault and Sim City 2000 — and for the next six 
months, no other kits have them. But that's not 
all. Game Blaster also includes Return to Zork, 
Iron Helix, F-II7A Stealth Fighter, Silent Ser- 
vice II, Civilization, Railroad Tycoon, and Grolier's 
Multimedia Encyclopedia. Of course, all your 
games will sound better because they're made to be 
played on Sound Blaster. The question is, can 
you handle it? Want more info or the name of a 
Creative Labs dealer? 


Call 1-800-998-5227. CRE at,ve labs. ,n&. 

'Suggested Retail Price $549.95 ©1994 Creative Technology Ltd. Game Blaster CD. Sound Blaster, and die Sound Blaster and Creative logos are trademarks of Creative Technology Ltd. All other trademarks 
arc the property of their respective owners. U.S. inquiries: Creative Libs 1-800-998-5227 or 408-42S-6600. International inquiries: Creative Technology Ltd.. Singapore, TEL 65-773-0233 FAX 65-773-0353 .* o-s„-j m . o~ 

Editor Clifton Karnes 
Art Director Robin Case Mykytyn 

Managing Editor 

Features Editor 

Reviews Editor 

Gazette and Online Editor 

Entertainment Editor 

Senior Copy Editor 

Copy Editor 

Editorial Assistant 

Contributing Editors 


David English 

Robert Bixby 

Mike Hudnall 

Tom Netsel 

Denny Atkin 

Karen Huffman 

Margaret Ramsey 

Polly Ciilpam 

Sylvia Graham, Tony Roberts, 

Karen Siepak 

Matt Byrd 

Assistant Art Director Kenneth A. Hardy 
Designer Katie Murdock 
Copy Production Manager Terry Cash 

Production Manager De Potter 

Traffic Manager Barbara A. Williams 

Manager Troy Tucker 
Programmers Sherman Brown 
Steve Draper 
Bradley M. Small 


President and COO 

Executive Vice President, 


Vice President 

and Editorial Director 

Operations Manager 

Office Manager 

Sr. Administrative Assistant 


Kathy Keeton 
William Tynan 

Keith Ferrell 

David Hensley Jr. 
Sybil Agee 
Julia Fleming 
LeWanda Fox 

Vice President Peter T Johnsmeyer 
and Associate Publisher (212) 496-6100 


Full-Page and Standard Display Ads: East Coast— Peter T Johns- 
meyer or Chris Coelho. COMPUTE Publications International, 1965 
Broadway. New York, NY 10023; (212) 496-6100. Southeast- 
Harriet Rogers, 503 A St. SE. Washington, DC 20003; (202) 546- 
5926. Florida— Jay M. Remer Associates. 7040 W. Palmetto Park 
Rd.. Ste. 308, Boca Raton. FL 33433; (407) 391-0104. (407) 391- 
5074 (fax). Midwest— Starr Lane, 7 Maywood Dr., Danville. IL 
61832; (217) 443-4042, (217) 443-4043 (fax). Midwest Main Office— 
111 E. Wacker Dr., Ste. 508, Chicago, IL 60601; (312) 819-0900. 
(312) 819-0813 (fax). Detroit— Jim Chauvin. 200 E. Big Beaver Rd., 
Troy, Ml 48083; (313) 680-4610, (313) 524-2866 (fax). Northwest- 
Jerry Thompson (415-348-8222) or Lucille Dennis (707-451-8209), 
Jules E. Thompson Co.. 1290 Howard Ave.. Ste. 303, Burlingame. 
CA 94010. Southwest and West— Howard Berman. 6728 Eton Ave., 
Canoga Park. CA 91303, (818) 992-4777. Product Mart Ads: Lu- 
cille Dennis. Jules E. Thompson Co.. 1290 Howard Ave.. Ste. 303, 
Burlingame, CA 94010; (707) 451-8209. Classified Ads; Maria 
Manaseri, 1 Woods Ct„ Huntington. NY 11743; (516) 757-9562 
(phone and fax). Sr. VP/Corp. Dir.. New Business Development: Bev- 
erly Wardale. VP/Dir.. Group Advertising Sales: Nancy Kestenbaum. 
9709 Brimfield Ct., Potomac, MD 20854; (301) 299-4677, (301) 299- 
4649 (fax). Sr. VP/Southern and Midwestern Advertising Dir.: Pe- 
ter Goldsmith, P.O. Box 1535, Mason Neck, VA 22199-1535; (703) 
339-1060, (703) 339-1063 (fax). Europe— Beverly Wardale. Flat 2, 
10 Stafford Terrace, London, England W87 BH; 011-4711-937- 
1517. Japan— Jiro Semba, Intergroup Communications, 3F Tiger 
Bldg.. 5-22 Shiba-koen, 3-Chome, Minato ku, Tokyo 105, Japan; 
03-434-2607, J25469IGLTYO (telex). 434-5970 (fax). Korea: Kaya 
Advertising. Rm 402 Kunshin Annex B/D 251-1. Dohwa Dong, 
Mapo-Ku, Seoul. Korea (121); 719-6906. K32144Kayaad (telex), 


Bob Guccione, Chairman and CEO 

Kathy Keeton. Vice Chairman and COO 

William F. Marlieb, President (Marketing, Sales, and Circulation) 

Patrick J. Gavin, Executive Vice President (Operations) and CFO 

Richard Cohen, Executive Vice President and Treasurer 

Frank DeVino, Executive Vice President and Graphics Director 

Jim Martise, Executive Vice President (Circulation) 

Hal Hatpner, Vice President and Manufacturing Director 

William Tynan, Vice President (Technology and Information 

Catherine Simmons-Gill, Vice President and General Counsel 


Sr. VP and CFO: Patrick J. Gavin; VP and Dir., Sales Promotions: 
Beverly Greiper; Dir, Newsstand Circulation: Maureen Sharkey; Dir, 
Newsstand Operations: Joe Gallo; Dir., Subscription Circulation: 
Beatrice J. Hanks; VP and Dir. Research; Robert Rattner; Adver- 
tising Production Dir.: Charlene Smith; Traffic Dir.; William Harbutt; 
VP, Financial Operations: Jim Folio; VP. Budget and Finance: Tom 
Maley; Assoc. Counsel: Laurence B. Sutter; Production Mgr.: Tom 
Stinson; Asst. Production Mgr.: Nancy Rice; Mgr., International Div.: 
George Rojas; National Marketing Dir: Anne M, Zink; Exec. Asst. 
to Bob Guccione: Diane O'Connell; Spec. Asst. to Bob Guccione: 
Jane Homlish. 


Clifton Karnes 

This is your chance to change 
COMPUTE. Twice a year— in Jan- 
uary and July — we publish a read- 
ership survey, asking you all 
kinds of questions about the hard- 
ware and software you own and plan 
to buy, the topics you like to read 
about, and what you like and don't 
like about the magazine. 

You'll find this issue's readership sur- 
vey on page 66, and I urge you to fill 
it out. We use the results of these sur- 
veys every day to determine what prod- 
ucts, how-to information, and general 
topics to cover in COMPUTE. Besides, 
the results of the surveys are just 
plain interesting. Following are a few of 
the highlights from the January 1994 
survey that I think you'll find interesting. 

If you own a 486 with a Super VGA 
video system, you're in good compa- 
ny. About 50 percent of our readers 
have systems configured this way. 
This number is up from 22 percent 
just a year earlier. 

Another interesting statistic is that 
one-third of you are planning to buy 
notebook computers this year. Just 
six months before that, only 5 percent 
were interested in notebooks. This 
shows how rapidly notebook technol- 
ogy is improving. 

Use of multimedia equipment — 
which includes sound cards, speak- 
ers, and CD-ROM drives— has been 
growing like crazy in the last year. In 
this survey, almost half of you (45 per- 
cent) have sound cards, with speak- 
ers (41 percent) and CD-ROM drives 
(30 percent) close behind. 

One piece of equipment many of 
you own came as a real surprise. A 
full 43 percent of you own fax mo- 
dems. This number is up from 33 per- 
cent just a year before. That explains 
why so many of you are faxing in 
your readership survey forms! 

The operating systems of choice 
are clearly DOS, with a 75-percent 
share, and Windows, with a 62-per- 
cent share. Obviously, a large number 
of you use both Windows and DOS. 

Looking at the parts of the maga- 
zine you like most, "Tips & Tools" is at 
the top, followed closely by "Hardware 
Clinic" and "Windows Workshop." Hot 
on the heels of these top picks are re- 
views, "News & Notes," COMPUTE'S 
Getting Started With, and features. 

Looking at your favorite topics, this 
list is much like the year before. New 
computer technologies is at the top, fol- 
lowed by how to upgrade your PC, 
new hardware, disk management and 
DOS, Windows, and entertainment. 

Where do your fellow readers use 
their PCs? Well, as you might guess, al- 
most all of you use PCs at home, but 
about 43 percent use them at work 
too. And what do you connect your 
PCs to? Here, the numbers are 
spread pretty evenly among America 
Online, Prodigy, and CompuServe, 
with other services like DELPHI, BIX, 
and the Internet turning in substantial 
gains over last year. 

So there you have COMPUTE'S read- 
ers in a nutshell. At least, that's what 
you looked like six months ago, when 
we did our last survey. Let us know 

what you're doing and thinking today, 
though, by filling out the readership sur- 
vey form. You'll help us make sure 
COMPUTE covers the info and prod- 
ucts you want to read about. 

In April, COMPUTE bundled a one- 
chapter excerpt from my book Essen- 
tia! Windows Tools with issues of the 
magazine that appeared on the news- 
stand only. Several subscribers have 
expressed an interest in receiving the 
excerpt too, so we've arranged to 
make it available. Simply send an 
SASE with $.52 postage to EWT, COM- 
PUTE Publications, 324 West Wen- 
dover Avenue, Suite 200, Greens- 
boro, NC 27408. Our supply of ex- 
cerpts is limited, so write soon if 
you're interested. O 




MusicTime is the most entertaining way to make 
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Circle Reader Service Number 256 




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Clifton Karnes 


You won't find 

a better 

portable Windows 

machine than 

the Sharp 8650. 

Looking for the perfect Win- 
dows notebook computer is 
my hobby. The problem is 
that once I find the perfect ma- 
chine, Windows programs 
start demanding more power- 
ful hardware, and my search 
begins again. 

Two years ago, I found the 
ideal Windows notebook: the 
NCR Safari. It was a cutting- 
edge 25-MHz 386SX with 
4MB of RAM, an 80MB hard 
disk, an external 1.44MB flop- 
py drive, a PCMCIA slot, and 
a monochrome backlit LCD. 
At the time, this 
was the most 
advanced hard- 
ware you could 
get, and, to top 
it off, the ma- 
chine was beau- 
tifully designed, 
with the best fit 
and finish I'd ev- 
er seen in a note- 

I loved this com- 
puter. Today, how- 
ever, its hardware 
is underpowered — 
especially the CPU, 
hard disk, and display. 
The new versions of Microsoft 
Word, Excel, and Visual C++ 
demand much more CPU 
speed. And an 80MB hard 
disk, even when it's enhanced 
with Stacker or DoubleSpace, 
is too small. Color, too, is be- 
coming more important. 

For the last few months, I've 
been reluctantly looking for a 
replacement for the Safari, 
and I may have found one: the 
Sharp 8650 (Sharp Electron- 
ics, 201-529-9593, $3,299). 
The 8650 is a 33-MHz 486DX 
with 4MB of RAM, a 200MB 
hard disk, a 1.44MB internal 
floppy drive, one PCMCIA 2.0 
slot, and an 8.4-inch color ac- 
tive matrix display. The bundle 
weighs just 6.4 pounds. 

The fit and finish of the 
Sharp rival the Safari's. The 
case is a handsome dark gray 
with monochrome LCD indica- 
tors. When you open the ma- 
chine, you'll find a layout 
that's simplicity itself. The 
keys are nearly full-size, are col- 
ored in two shades of gray, 
and include 12 function keys 
and cursor keys in an inverted 
T The only controls you'll find 
on the machine are an on-off 
switch and a brightness con- 
trol for the display. 

Turn the 8650 on, and you'll 
be amazed by the quality of 
the display. It's 640 x 480 
with 256 colors, and it's one of 
the best LCD screens I've ev- 
er seen. Other options include 
an internal fax/data modem 
and a trackball that snaps on- 
to the front of the computer. 

Looking at the machine's 
ports, you'll see everything 
you'd expect: a parallel port, 
an external keyboard PS/2 con- 
nector, a serial port, and an ex- 
ternal monitor port. As with 
many LCDs, you can use the 
external monitor at higher res- 
olutions, including 800 x 600 
with 16 colors and 1024 x 768 
with 16 colors. These display 
resolutions can be switched us- 
ing software, and the internal 
LCD can be either active or in- 
active when you're using an ex- 
ternal monitor. 

I've used this machine on 
two trips, and when my desk- 
top system at work failed re- 
cently, I used it for two weeks 
as my main computer. 
Through all this it's performed 
superbly. On the road, the bat- 
tery life is about two hours for 
full-blown Windows comput- 
ing, which is about average. If 
the 8650's too pricey for you, 
consider Sharp's dual-scan 
passive matrix model with a 
slightly larger 9.4-inch screen 
for $2,999. 

I want to talk about three trav- 
eling companions that have 
made working with this Sharp 
notebook more productive 

and more fun. The first is the 
DSP Solutions Portable 
Sound Plus (DSP Solutions, 
415-494-8086, $199). This won- 
derful 16-bit Sound Blaster- 
compatible sound system 
plugs into your parallel port 
and turns any notebook (or 
any desktop, for that matter) in- 
to a real sound machine. The 
quality of the sound is excel- 
lent, and the system couldn't 
be easier to install. 

Another worthy traveling 
companion is the GVC 1 4.4 PC- 
MCIA fax/data modem (GVC 
Technologies, 201-579-2954, 
$299). I simply slip this tiny 
card into the 8650, and I can 
get online at almost any 
speed — and send and re- 
ceive faxes. For size and 
ease of use, this PCMCIA mo- 
dem beats a serial port connec- 
tor any day. 

Last, I've found the perfect 
case in which to carry all this 
stuff. The Tamrac World Trav- 
eler Executive 2886 (Tamrac, 
818-407-9500, $249.95) is a 
handsome computer brief- 
case made with high-quality 
ballistic nylon and leather ac- 
cents. It features lots of pock- 
ets and storage compart- 
ments and can carry almost 
any accessory you can imag- 
ine. It was designed to have 
all the features of a traditional 
briefcase plus the storage of 
a computer carrying case, 
and it achieves this goal admi- 
rably. It boasts three very 
large pockets that I use for the 
power supply, mouse, and ex- 
tra phone and power cords. In 
a different compartment, it has 
smaller pockets you can use 
for airline tickets, sunglasses, 
and an address book. You'll 
find several pen pockets, too, 
plus storage for disks and lots 
of compartments that can 
hold papers, folders, and man- 
uals. After the computer itself, 
this Tamrac case is my most 
important piece of equipment. 
It's by far the best computer 
case I've ever seen. □ 


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Edited by Robert Bixby 


pixelated, sending 

a tree, and 

healing a printer 

Pixel Logic 

I'm 18 years old, and I'm just 
starting in computer studies. I 
need to know what a pixel is, 
exactly. And what's a 66-MHz 
DX2 computer? 


A pixel is the smallest unit of 
your computer screen that 
can be controlled by the com- 
puter. Try this little QBASIC 



PSET (320,240), m 


m = m XOR 15 


That blinking dot in the center 
of your screen is a pixel. If 
you're using a color monitor, 
the pixel is composed of 
three dots: red, green, and 
blue in equal intensity. If you 
use a magnifying glass, you'll 
probably be able to see the in- 
dividual dots of phosphor 
that make up the pixel. Now 
exit from the QBASIC pro- 
gram and use your magnify- 
ing glass to look at letters on 
the monitor screen. They're 
composed of individual dots 
as well. Each of these dots is 
a pixel. Your monitor screen 
is like a Cartesian grid 640 pix- 
els wide by 480 pixels high 
(most likely). By substituting 
values between and 639 for 
the first value between the pa- 
rentheses following PSET in 
the program example and val- 
ues between and 479 for 
the second value between 
the parentheses, you could 
cause any pixel on your mon- 
itor screen to blink on and off. 
An 80486DX is an ad- 
vanced form of the 80x86 se- 
ries of CPUs offered by Intel. 
Its advantage over the 80286 
and the 8086 is that it's a 32- 
bit chip while these earlier ver- 
sions are 16-bit chips. Its ad- 
vantages over the 80386 are 

that it's considerably faster 
and it has an on-board math 
coprocessor. A 66-MHz mod- 
el is one that can operate at 
66 million cycles per second. 
That's not quite as impressive 
as it sounds, since some in- 
structions can take several 
clock cycles to process. DX2 
is a special designation -that 
means the chip is actually a 
33-MHz CPU running in a 33- 
MHz system, but its speed is 
doubled so that when it isn 't 
accessing anything outside 
the CPU, it actually runs at 
double speed— 66 MHz. A 
DX2 system doesn't really run 
at its rated speed because 
some of the time it's operat- 
ing at 33 MHz. But it is signif- 
icantly faster than an ordinary 
33-MHz machine. 

Smarter Deletes 

I have a puzzler for a batch 
file programmer. I'd like to re- 
move a file from each of my 
subdirectories. My antivirus 
program puts a file called 
CHKLIST.MS in almost every 
directory and subdirectory. I'd 
like to delete these files, 
along with any BAK files. Al- 
so, is there a way to send the 
tree to a file? 


Hereabouts, we prefer BASIC 
to batch language, so we cre- 
ated a QBASIC program that 
will delete any files you desig- 
nate from every subdirectory 
on a disk. Unfortunately, it's 
far too long to publish in the 
magazine. It's available in the 
COMPUTE area on America 
Online. But it might not be so 
smart to delete those check- 
sum files. Your antivirus pro- 
gram uses them to detect 

If you want to turn your 
tree into a word processor doc- 
ument, type this at the com- 
mand line: tree /f > file- 
name.ext. Most commands 
that provide output can have 

their output redirected into an 
ASCII file which can be load- 
ed into the DOS editor or 
most word processors and 
then formatted to your heart's 
content and printed out. 

One additional note: If you 
want to exclude the antivirus 
checksum files from your tree 
listing, the smart delete pro- 
gram can also set the hidden 
attribute of these files, gener- 
ate the tree as a text file, and 
then reset the hidden attrib- 
ute. This will prevent the check- 
sum files from being dis- 
played in your tree printout, 
but they will remain on disk. 

Printer Woes 

You have come to my aid be- 
fore through this column, so 
I'm hopeful you can help me 
again. My Panasonic KXP 
1023 printer works erratically. 
Sometimes it responds to 
LPRINT, and other times it 
doesn't. My inadequate solu- 
tion is to disconnect and re- 
connect the brand-new print- 
er cable, put the printer 
through its self test, and jiggie 
the online switch a few times. 
It usually works. 

The DOS Mode command 
responded with a Printer error 
message during one of these 
episodes. If you fail to help, 
my next move will be to bring 
an Indian shaman to sing 
some powerful chants. 


You wrote your letter to "Tips 
& Tools, " but it seemed to fit 
better in "Feedback. " Richard 
C. Leinecker responds: 

Begin by trying another 
printer port. If you're using 
LPT1, then plug the printer ca- 
ble into LPT2 and try it. If that 
doesn't work, try a new cable. 
Borrow one if you have to. 
Even a brand-new cable can 
be defective. 

Check your emulation. You 
might have accidentally set the 
printer to emulate some other 


Buying a modem that's not compatible 

with everyone else's could make thing; 

a little sticky at work. 


the only 28,800 bps modems that 
support every high-speed protocol: 
V.34, V.FC ™ and V.32 terbo. 

You know people depend on their modems. 
You know they can make it very uncomfort- 
able for you if you don't recommend the 
fastest, most compatible modems available. 
So doesn't it behoove you to give them the 
only 28,800 bps modem that supports 

every high-speed protocol and international 
standard? The only modem that connects 
with every other modem at its highest 
possible speed? Courier V.34 does all that. 
Want a magic number to protect you from 
curses? Call 1-800-USR CORP. 


The Only V.Everything ™ Modem 

U.S. Robotics and the USRobotics logo are registered trademarks, and Courier. Courier V.34 and V.Everything are trademarks of U.S. Robotics, Inc. V.FC is a trademark of Rockwell International Corporatic 

Circle Reader Service Number 112 



a program line, 

deleting OS/2, 

and downloading a 

charts and 

graphs program 

printer, and some of your print- 
er drivers might be incompati- 
bie with that printer emulation. 

Borrow a printer and try it 
with your setup. There might 
be something going wrong in- 
side your computer on your par- 
allel interface or in software. 

You'll have to work a little 
harder if things are still going 
awry. Remove all of your TSRs 
and device drivers that aren't 
absolutely essential. It's possi- 
ble there's an IRQ conflict that 
causes the printing process to 
flake out once in a while. 

My last suggestion is to 
take the printer to a friend's 
house and try it on his or her 
computer. If you still have troub- 
le, the printer probably needs 
repair. Take it to a repair shop 
and have it checked out. 

Old Climber 

When I run Climber 5 (from 
the August 1987 COMPUTE!), 
I get an error message stat- 
ing Subscript out of range in 
190. Why am I getting that 
message? I've enclosed the 
program listing. 


A Subscript out of range error 
message indicates that an ar- 
ray has been incorrectly di- 
mensioned or hasn't been di- 
mensioned at all. Therefore, 
we traced back through your 
program listing to see where 
the arrays were dimensioned, 
and sure enough, the arrays 
used in line 190 and several 
other lines in the program 
were never dimensioned in 
your listing (though they were 
in the listing published in the 

Here's the line from Climb- 
er 5 on page 50 in the August 
1987 COMPUTE!. It dimen- 
sions the arrays used in the 
rest of the program. 

110 DIM LASR(37), 



Load your program into GW- 
BASIC and list this line. Edit it 
so that it matches the line 
above and press Enter. (Press- 
ing the Enter key with your 
text cursor on a line in GW- 
BASIC causes the line to be 
entered into the program. If 
you fail to do this, the line will 
never be made part of the 

Since this line is incom- 
plete, it's possible that other 
lines in your program are also 
incomplete. You should 
check your program against 
the listing line by line. 

Dimensioning an array en- 
sures that BASIC will set 
aside enough space in RAM 
to accommodate the array BA- 
SIC will automatically dimen- 
sion an array of 1 1 elements if 
you don't use the DIM func- 
tion, but it's good program- 
ming practice to dimension ar- 
rays of any size because if 
your array is less than 1 1 ele- 
ments, you'll be wasting pre- 
cious RAM by allowing BASIC 
to use the default. 

The Ghost of OS/2 

I can't delete OS/2 from my 
hard disk. I deleted the files 
and ran Dosshell, and they're 
still there. 


Our resident OS/2 expert, 
Bradley M. Small, replies: 

Exit from Dosshell. Log on 
to the root directory. Type at- 
trib -r -h -s *.?sf and press En- 
ter. Type del *.?sf and press 
Enter. This should get rid of 
all of the OS/2 system files in 
your root directory. Next, 
type attrib -r -s -h os2*. and 
press Enter. Type del os2*. 
and press Enter. Then delete 
everything in the following di- 
rectories (including subdirec- 
tories): OS2, DELETE, DESK- 

and SPOOL. Finally use RD 
to remove these directories. 

If DOS gives you an error 
message when you attempt 
to remove a directory, it's prob- 
ably because there are hid- 
den or read-only files or sub- 
directories in the directories 
you're attempting to remove. 

Another possibility (if you 
have already performed all of 
the steps outlined above) is 
that Dosshell isn't rereading 
your disk to make sure its di- 
rectories are current. Press 
F5 to refresh the directory list- 
ing in Dosshell. 

This Month's Premium 

This month a BASIC program 
that draws graphs is available 
online in the COMPUTE area 
on AOL. You can use it to cre- 
ate bar graphs, line graphs, or 
pie charts using values you en- 
ter from the keyboard or in a 
text file. Since it's in BASIC, 
you can also modify the pro- 
gram, but don't forget that it's 
copyrighted. Use it for your 
own graphs, but don't pass it 
around. Anyone who wants it 
can download it. Each month 
we add something extra to the 
"Feedback" column uploaded 
to AOL to make it worthwhile 
for you to download it. 

And don't forget to take a 
look at COMPUTE'S "Personal 
Productivity" column on AOL 
each month. 


Do you have a question 
about hardware or software? 
Or have you discovered some- 
thing that could help other PC 
users? If so, we want to hear 
from you. Write to "Feed- 
back" in care of this maga- 
zine. Readers whose letters ap- 
pear in "Feedback" will re- 
ceive a free COMPUTE base- 
ball cap while supplies last. 
We regret that we cannot pro- 
vide personal replies to techni- 
cal questions. □ 


The World s Best Selling 
Chess Program? 


isiasts w 

tell you that the software "engine" 
is what determines the true 
power of a chess program. 

The new "turbocharged" 
32-bit engine in The 
Chessmaster Version 4000 
is based upon the renowned 
Koning King 2.0 chess 
engine. Taking advantage 
of the 32-bit processing 
capabilities of 386 and 
486 processors, chess 
for the PC has reached 
a new level of 

The Chessmaster 
4000 Turbo has a new 
custom Windows'" 
interface for spectacular 
graphics. Choose 
between 3-D or 2-D. 
Rotate the board. 
Choose from a dozen 
chess sets or design your 
own set or board. 



Copyright ©1986-1993 The Software Toolw 
Chessmaster, The Software Toolworks and 1 
trademark? of The Software Toolworks, inc. 
trademark of International Business Mat" 
and MS-DOS are registered trademarks 
Microsoft Corporation. All other li 
trademarks are the properly of their respeetivt 

- '■!' ■-■ . -'- ->- ' ' ■ 

The Chessmaster acts as a 
mentor and provides a new 
interactive animated tutorial, 
ten additional teaching displays 
and "rate my plays;" you pred 
the correct moves selected 
from famous games and The 
Chessmaster will score you. 

Hie Finest Chess Pro-am In The World! 

r e Gave It A 
Stronger Engine! 

"Chess doesn 't get any better than this. Simply the best che: 
program you can get on a home computer. 10 out of 10!" 

( orporaiSn..Miaii 

I Electronic Entertainment 

New views including 
3-D and rotating 

The Software 
Toolworks has long 
been recognized as the 
leader in computer 
chess programs. Now, 
we're setting a brand 
new standard. Truly, 
The Chessmaster 4000 
Turbo is the finest chess 
program in the world. 


Circle Reade 

vice Number 266 



The Finest Chess Program in The World! 

Available for Windows 

{the store nearest vou or to buy, call 


Fall UndeR The Spell 


Of This (JeaRS OOosr 
ntasy AdvenruRc! 



Froiti FaR, FaR away and long long ago comes a 
sroRy ro savoR: a rale oF couRage, Romance, 
soRceRy, evil deeds and malevolenr cuRses; a 
rale ro liFr rhe heaRr and srRike ar rhe senses. 

(Jour kingdom has suFFeRed haRd ar rhe 
hands oF rhe SoRceReR Sanaje. bur ir is 20 
yeaRs since he and his dRead casrle meRe 
,sealed uiirhin a magical FoRce 6y rhe couRr 
ujizaRd oF youR FarheR; rhe rhen king. 

Nouj, rhe dRagon RepResenring rhe evil mage 
is sriRRing and rhe spheRe rhar holds him is 
CRacking open. The SoRceReR has Reaujakenedl 
(Jour quesr is cleaR: Fighr youR ujay ro rhe 
casrle and deFear Sanwel 

o l*o B y t e ® 

© 1994 MicroProse, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

Available on CD-ROM for IBM PC/Compatibles 


Circle Reader 


Robert Bixby 

Move data faster 

and use your 

phone line for voice 

and data. 


A few weeks ago, I received no- 
tice that Hayes Microcomput- 
er Products was marketing a 
28,800-bps V.Fast Class (also 
called V.FC) modem for $579 
(list price). "ITU-T (the interna- 
tional board that approves 
telecommunications stan- 
dards) hasn't approved 
V.Fast yet," I thought. "Who 
would buy technology that 
might be nonstandard?" 

When I called Hayes to ask 
that question, Joe Fuller, man- 
ager of business develop- 
ment, told me that Hayes has 
been working for some time 
on what will be the next stan- 
dard in telecommunications: 
V.34 (also known as V.Fast). 
The standard was supposed 
to be approved in 1992 and 
then in 1993, but it still hasn't 
been approved as this goes to 
press (approval is expected in 
the second half of this year). 
Meanwhile, the market has 
been demanding a faster stan- 
dard than the current 14,400 
bps. High speed is important 
for remote LAN access, send- 
ing large files (like graphics 
and desktop publishing files), 
and other large-scale data 
transfers. Some modem man- 
ufacturers have responded 
with what is known as V32ter- 
bo (this is a bit of a pun, since 
in French, bis, as in V.32bis, 
means "second" and ter 
means "third"). This is a pro- 
prietary 19,200-bps technolo- 
gy that is expected to fade 
away in the face of the V.34 

Also in response to this mar- 
ket pressure, Hayes and Rock- 
well developed their own 
V.Fast Class standard be- 
cause, according to Fuller, 
"we have a good handle on 
what the standard will look 
like." The basics are already 
in place: speed, modulation 
scheme and use of multidimen- 
sional trellis coding, and line- 
probing techniques for adjust- 

ing the modem signal to the 
phone line signal quality. 
Hayes and Rockwell and 125 
other modem manufacturers 
(all of whom use the Rockwell 
chip set in their modems) 
lined up to make the V.FC avail- 
able. All of the modems being 
released with this new stan- 
dard also feature upgradabili- 
ty, so when the standard is 
eventually in place, you'll be 
able to overcome V.FC's incom- 
patibilities with some sort of up- 
grade — probably in the form 
of software or a new chip to in- 
sert on the modem board. You 
won't have to buy a whole new 

The effort necessary to up- 
grade will depend on the di- 
vergence of the V.FC and the 
V.34 standards, but many man- 
ufacturers claim that the up- 
grade will cost no more than 
$50. Hayes has guaranteed 
that its upgrade will be "less 
than $100." 

You might recall that mod- 
ern modems have built-in com- 
pression, which multiplies 
their stated bps ratings. For 
most modems the V42bis com- 
pression standard provides 
4 : 1 data compression, so a 
28,800-bps modem can actu- 
ally transmit 115,200 bps. But 
by taking advantage of spe- 
cial options in the V42bis com- 
pression, V.FC Hayes mo- 
dems interacting with other 
V.FC Hayes modems can trans- 
mit up to 230,400 bps, for 
about 8 : 1 compression 
(that's about 23K per second). 

Once the V.34 standard is 
in place, if you buy a modem 
that uses a Rockwell V.34 
chip set, that modem will be 
backward compatible with a 
V.FC modem. In other words, 
you'll be able to exchange da- 
ta at 28,800 bps with either a 
V.34 or a V.FC modem. 

Now for my cool report. The 
coolest thing I've heard about 
this month in telecommunica- 
tions involves a Radish. 

Have you ever been talking 

to someone on the phone and 
suddenly needed to send him 
or her a fax? It happens often 
enough to me — usually when 
I'm talking to a person who 
wants to tell me something con- 
fidential but can't because we 
don't have a nondisclosure 
agreement (NDA). We hang 
up. A few minutes later, the 
NDA comes out of the fax ma- 
chine down the hall. I sign it 
and fax it back. A short while 
later, the phone rings, and our 
conversation continues. 

You might not deal with in- 
dustry secrets, but you might 
be a doctor who needs a re- 
lease to send a patient's re- 
cords to a hospital, or you 
might be contracting for a serv- 
ice from a company that 
needs your signature on a pa- 
per before it can deliver. 

Radish Communications 
Systems has come up with 
something that eliminates the 
awkwardness of voice and da- 
ta communication. If both you 
and the person you are speak- 
ing with on the phone have a 
modem with Radish's Voice- 
View protocol, you can send a 
fax (or data) over the same con- 
nection you're using for your 

This technology is already 
on the market in the form of 
the ViewBridge, a Radish prod- 
uct, which costs $595. It con- 
nects in series between the 
phone and the wall jack. Ac- 
cording to Jackie McDonald 
at Radish, VoiceView works 
with analog and digital 
phones. (Digital and hybrid sys- 
tems require a special inter- 
face to the handset of the 
phone.) A serial connection 
links the ViewBridge to the PC. 
To switch between speech 
and data, you click on a but- 
ton on your computer screen. 

U.S. Robotics, Hayes, and 
Intel have all licensed the tech- 
nology. According to Radish, 
a modem using VoiceView 
may be available in the sec- 
ond half of 1994. □ 



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Serif, Inc. • PO Box 803 Nashua NH 03061 • Tel: (603) 889-8650 Fax: (603) 889-1127 
Serif Europe • PO Box 15 Nottingham NG7 2DA England • Tel: +44 602 421502 Fax: +44 602 701022 
NOTE: Checks/money orders to SERIF. MasterCard, VISA, Amex and Discover accepted. Cards not charged 
until dispatch. POs welcome from Education, Federal and Fortune- 1000. SuperPack single location site 
licenses are available - call for details. Serif product names are trademarks of Serif, Inc. All other trademarks 
acknowledged. When you buy any Serif product you get great software and great support. It's both 

To run PagePlus, you'll need: 

• Microsoft Windows 31 or later, with mouse 

• 80286 PC or higher, with at least 2 Mb memory 

• At least 4 Mb free disk space 

• ANY Windows compatible printer 

All products shipped on 3.5" (1.44 Mb) disks. Please 
specify if you need 5.25" (1.2Mb) disks. 

YES! I want to Trade-Up to PagePlus and 
enclose a copy of the cover of my manual 

I understand I can return PagePlus within 
60 days if I'm not completely satisfied. 

□ PagePlus 2.0 Trade-Up @$29-95 

□ SuperPack Trade-Up @$59.95 

(PagePlus 2.0, TypePlus, ArtPack and FontPack) 

□ PagePlus 2.0 @ $59-95 

□ SuperPack 9 $99-95 

(PagePlus 2.0, TypePlus, ArtPack and FontPack) 

I enclose $ 

(Add $7 for S&H, $25 for International). 

Check/Card * . 

Exp. Date 







Telephone (.... 


Please return to-. 
Serif, Inc. 
PO Box 803 

Nashua NH 03061 

When all else fails, 

There are three types of computer 
users: those who have lost data due 
to a power problem, those who are going 
to, and those who have protected them- 
selves against the inevitable surge, black- 
out or brownout with the most reliable 
UPS they can buy: Back-UPS by APC. In 
fact, editors and users alike agree that if 
your system demands absolute reliability, 
you can depend on APC Back-UPS. 

According to a study by Bell Labs, 
undervoltages represent the overwhelming 
majority of power problems likely to hit 
your computer. The question is not if a 

^Tbe clear 
winner in price 

Voted most reliable by 3-to-1 

In a recent poll by PC 
Magazine's MagNet, 
APC was voted the 
most reliable UPS 
manufacturer by a 3- 
to-1 margin. That's 
dependability that will 
see you tbough years of 
unmatched power 

failure will occur, but when. Whether due to 
construction, wiring, weather, other office 
equipment, or accidents, power problems 
are as inevitable as death and taxes. That's 
why you need instantaneous battery backup 
power from the Back-UPS to prevent 
data loss, hard disk crashes, and hard- 
ware damage. 

If you're concerned about 
lightning, rest assured that 
when measured using the 
ANSI/IEEE 587 Cat- 
egory A test wave, 
Back-UPS are 
superior to 


m « img « m own ra maw. a 

Eta v«Ml5 BY M « BIKE. IKIL'BW 

mm valid n ill ud ouwm ostTj. 


Back-UPS prevail 

"All other brands of UPS die regularly in this 
lightning prone environment. My APC won't 
die! " said Paul Sisilli, Systems Analyst, City of 
Port St. Lucie . "With other brands, users don't 
find out until it is too late. The power 
interruptions here are very hard to live with. 
The other brands are dying off. Typically they 
last just beyond their warranty period. My 
Back-UPS is going on three years. other 
brand is as reliable. " 

virtually all separate surge suppressors. 
Surge performance is even backed by a 
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If you're protecting a network server, a 
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Back-UPS 400 and higher) provides the 
security of an automatic shutdown to all 
major OS including NetWare, Windows, 
Windows NT, LAN Server, LAN Manager, 
LANtastic, SCO Unix, OS/2, Banyan Vines, 
AppleShare/System7 and more, so your data 
is safe whether the system is attended or not. 
(PowerChute software and interface kits 
sold separately.) 

_____ ... And since data processed 
' on networked clients needs 
protection too, the $139 
Back-UPS 250 provides an 

■ ■ 

■■ ■■ ■ 

Back-UPS (R to L) Application Sugg. List 


LAN nodes, internet hardware, POS 



Desktop 486, 386 systems, servers 



Tower 436, 386 systems, servers 



Heavily configured systems, CAD/ 

CAM workstations 



Multiple systems, longer runtime 



Multiple systems, LAN hubs, 

small minis, telecom equipment 


Don Traux knows first hand about Back-UPS 
reliability: "It ought to be against the law to 
buy a computer without an APC Back-UPS 
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outside the house. computer never blinked. 
Each morning I get a surge doivn the line and 
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More than... 
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APC has won more awards for performance 
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Andrew Wargo, Manager at Baxter Land 
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UPS. "One lasted a few days, a second one 
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less than 24 hours! I then bought my Back- 
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Instantaneous backup power beats 
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Unmatched lightning (tested to UL1449) 
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Network-grade line conditioning and EMI/ 
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LAN Interface (on Back-UPS 400 and up) 
provides automatic shutdown to all major 
OS: Windows, NT, NetWare, LAN Server, 
LAN Manager, LANtastic.Unix, OS/2, 
Vines, AppleSharelSysteml and more. 

Site diagnostics automatically spot missing 
ground and reversed polarity, two common 
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Option switches allow you to customize 
transfer voltage and alarm settings. 

Test Switch for ongoing peace of mind 

2 year warranty and full safety approvals 

$25,000 Lifetime Equipment Protection 

Circle Reader Service Number 270 



APC EUROPE M3] 64625900 / ASIAffACIFIC FAX: 401-789- 1631/ 
L. AMERICA FAX: 401-788-2716 / CompuServe: GO APCSUPPORT 

Dept. OS 




Edited by Mike Hudnall 
Reviews by Richard 0. Mann 

The action in today's spread- 
sheet market is in Windows. 
This month's Test Lab exam- 
ines the current crop of Win- 
dows spreadsheets, consisting of 
the three traditional spreadsheets 
from the biggest players in the soft- 
ware industry, the paradigm-shift- 
ing Lotus Improv, and a single low- 
priced sheet aimed at the home 
and small-office market. Add to 
the mix reviews of two 
fascinating specialized 
spreadsheet-based pro- 
grams and a few side- 
bars on related prod- 
ucts, and you have a 
report on the current 
state of the Windows 
spreadsheet market. 

The Big Three 
sheets — Microsoft Ex- 
cel 5.0, Lotus 1-2-3 
Release 4.01 for Win- 
dows, and Quattro Pro 
5.0 for Windows — are 
all new versions with 
so many features that 
no one will ever use 
them all in daily work. 
After years of leapfrog- 
ging (the newest re- 
lease was almost al- 
ways the best spread- 
sheet, having copied 
all the new stuff in the 
other sheets and 
upped the ante with 
innovative new fea- 
tures), these three 
sheets have achieved 
near parity. 

Recent years brought 
such clever ideas as notebook- 
style tabbed sheets for quick nav- 
igation between pages; shortcut 
menus that pop up next to the cur- 
rent cell at the click of a right 
mouse button, showing menu 
items needed for that cell; drag- 
and-drop moving and copying; au- 
tomatic filling of series data such 
as month names; resizable 
graphs that fit right on the spread- 
sheet; the ability to size the infor- 
mation to fit a single page 


automatically; and a button that 
automatically figures out what you 
want added and creates the appro- 
priate ©SUM formula. That's just a 
sample; the list goes on, getting 
more esoteric with each item. 
None of the Big Three sheets 
lacks any of these significant fea- 
tures. The importance of the leap- 
frog effect is waning as innova- 
tions in each new generation be- 
come less significant. The Big 
Three clearly stand ahead of the 

competition, however, so they 
appear first in the reviews. 

Like those who advised clos- 
ing the Patent Office because eve- 
rything possible had already 
been invented, you might feel 
tempted to think that spread- 
sheets have reached their limits. 
They haven't, but the rate of inno- 
vation has slowed enough that 
buying a current spreadsheet no 
longer feels like investing in 
instant obsolescence. 

Lotus markets Improv 2.1 as a 
multidimensional dynamic spread- 
sheet—something new and differ- 
ent, not competing with its flagship 
1-2-3 sheets but augmenting 
them. Check out Improv; it's a re- 
freshingly different business tool 
that may meet needs you didn't 
know you had. (Excel and Quattro 
Pro offer some of Improv's function- 
ality with their pivot-table features, 
but they don't begin to match all 
the features of Improv.) 

In the accompany- 
ing features grid and re- 
views, I have tended 
not to focus on the ba- 
sic set of features that 
all the programs share 
but on the things that 
differentiate them. If a 
standard feature is miss- 
ing, I'll mention it. 

For home and small- 
office users, the Big 
Three, with their bur- 
densome hardware de- 
mands, may be over- 
kill. You'll need 4MB of 
RAM to even consider 
running these behe- 
moths. For heavy use, 
you'd better have 8MB 
or more — or be unusu- 
ally patient. They con- 
sume staggering 
amounts of hard disk 
space; 8MB gets you 
only the stripped- 
down program (no 
help files, templates, 
or tutorials). A full instal- 
lation runs to 23MB, 
while an average non- 
networked configura- 
tion occupies about 16MB. Data 
compression, here we come. 

If you need the high-powered 
sheets, consider buying a soft- 
ware suite; each of the Big Three 
comes in a suite, which includes 
a market-leading word processor 
and a database. Microsoft and 
Lotus suites include a presenta- 
tion graphics program, and Lotus 
gives you a personal information 
manager. For less than the price 
of two programs, you get from 

three to five major programs de- 
signed to look alike and operate 
similarly, lessening the learning 
time. They also share data easily, 
almost automatically. Only Micro- 
soft Office supports OLE 2.0. 

If you don't need the high-pow- 
ered sheets, consider Lucid 3-D, 
reviewed here, or a Works pro- 
gram. Works programs — most 
notably Microsoft Works for Win- 
dows, ClarisWorks, WordPerfect 
Works, and PFS:WindowWorks— 
provide a simple spreadsheet 
along with a word processor, a 
graphics program, and often a few 
other goodies. While they won't 
give you all the heavy-duty func- 
tions and features of the mainline 
programs, they're often perfectly 
adequate for normal demands. 

I tested these spreadsheets on 
a 486DX2-66 desktop computer 
with 8MB of RAM, which was ade- 
quate to run them all without irri- 
tating delays, though more RAM 
would make them zippier. I also 
ran them on a 486DX-33 Zenith 
Z-Note 433Lnc+ notebook comput- 
er with 4MB RAM. All the pro- 
grams ran acceptably, but load- 
ing, calculating large sheets, and 
other memory-intensive tasks 
were noticeably slow. 

With so few choices in high- 
end Windows spreadsheets and 
relative parity among them, you 
can't go wrong with any of them 
that your hardware can handle. 
Check out the related products, 
too; they may meet your special- 
ized needs. 




Release 4.01 of Lotus 1 -2-3 for Win- 
dows is a completely redesigned, 
truly Windows-native spreadsheet 
with an intuitive, easy-to-use inter- 
face that both respects Windows 

Lotus 1-2-3 Release 401 for 

Suggested MM price: $4§5 

(SI 7! 

343-541 4 

conventions and offers new, com- 
mon-sense touches that delight 
the user. With this release, the prod- 
uct finally loses the stigma of its 
previous versions' lackluster use of 
the Windows environment. And if 
you are among the millions of us 
with the old 1-2-3 slash-key men- 
us permanently burned into our 
brains, you'll be glad to know that 
the 1-2-3 Classic function re- 
sponds to those commands just 
as you'd expect. In addition, most 
of your old macros from all previ- 
ous versions of 1-2-3 will work in 
the new Windows version. 

New to this version are many 
interface innovations, including in- 
cell editing on the face of the 
spreadsheet (rather than only in 
the control panel); the ability to 
store the worksheet in a single 
file (previous versions had a sep- 
arate format file); a pull-down list- 
ing of the most frequently used @ 
functions that can be expanded 
to show all functions, together 
with brief advice about how to 
use them; and a series of nine cus- 
tomizable Smartlcon bars that 
mimic those used in Ami Pro when- 
ever possible. 

Little touches can mean a lot: 
Consider the cursor used to drag 
and drop cells. Rather than using 
an uninformative pointer, 1-2-3 
makes the cursor an open hand 
when it lingers over a cell or dragga- 
ble object. Holding the mouse but- 
ton down to grab the cell closes 
the fingers of the hand, letting you 
know you've got hold of it. 

Another gem is the live status 


K , window. 


bar at the bottom of the screen, 
which shows the cell format 
(date, currency, and so forth), the 
font name and size, and an icon 
representing the Smartlcon bar. 
Click on any of these items, and 
a pop-up list appears, allowing 
you to change that attribute. You 
always know where you are and 
how to change things quickly. 

The Navigator is a small icon 
and panel that shows the current 
range. Click on the icon to see a 
listing of all named ranges. Click 
on a range name to go there on 
the worksheet. The fill-by-exam- 
ple function (type Jan, highlight 
a range from there, and the pro- 
gram fills in the rest of the 
months) covers the normal series 
and allows you to set up your own 
frequently used series for instant 
access. With the new intelligent 
data entry, you highlight the 
range into which you'll be putting 
data. Then, as you fill the cells, hit- 
ting the Enter key moves you to 
the next logical cell. (In other work- 
sheets, you need to specify your 
direction with an arrow key.) 

Lotus likes to promote its 
"WYSBYGI" function— What You 
See Before You Get It— that 
shows examples of formatting 
choices in the dialog box before 
you apply them to the worksheet 
It's a common function in Windows 
programs for font selections, but 
Lotus applies the principle to 
fonts, colors, and all other visual 
matters whenever possible 

This version of 1-2-3 provides 
"designer frames," decorative bor- 




ders that you can place around 
cells, ranges, text boxes, or other 
objects. They include drop shad- 
ows, beveled edges, Post-it 
notes, and other visual delights. 
And 1 -2-3 lets you rotate text with- 
in a cell to any degree you wish. 
Unusual visual effects are easy. 

The interface features are 
important, but the star of the 
1-2-3 show has to be the Version 
Manager. Beside it, the what-if 
function managers in Excel and 
Quattro Pro are weak indeed. 
Spreadsheets are ideal tools for 
testing the effects of changing 
variables. Budgets and projec- 
tions are the easiest to visualize. 
Let's say that, after creating your 
budget, you want to see the re- 
sults if sales were 10 percent 
higher— or lower. The Version Man- 
ager lets you store alternative sets 
of values in the same cells, then 
saves each version, noting time, 
date, creator, short name, and 
comments. After mixing your var- 
ious assumptions in many combi- 
nations, you can call any of them 
up for review through the Version 
Manager or print the contents of 
certain cells for each version. 
Once you've used it, nothing else 
will do. 

Querying external databases is 
also much easier in this release of 



1-2-3. Instead of the cumbersome 
and user-hostile system of old, you 
get a new dialog-box-based que- 
ry system that takes the pain out 
of the process. For database work 
within the worksheet, it's not in Ex- 
cel's class, but for external data- 
base connections, it's better. 

Because Lotus provides mas- 
terful multidimensional analysis in 
its separate Improv program, 
there has been no effort to add piv- 
ot-table features to 1-2-3 to match 
similar features in the competition. 
And anything Lotus could put into 
1-2-3 would seem inadequate 
when compared to Improv. 

This version of 1-2-3 is also avail- 
able in a multimedia edition on CD- 
ROM for the same price. (But your 
manuals are all on the CD-ROM; 
paper books cost an extra $50.) 
The multimedia edition adds slick 
and entertaining animated guided 
tours, QuickMovie animations, a 
ScreenCam feature that lets you re- 
cord your own multimedia help 
movies within 1-2-3, and a new 
Reader function that reads your 
spreadsheet back to you aloud for 
proofreading purposes. 

Lotus 1-2-3 Release 4.01 for 
Windows is a fine spreadsheet, 
suitable for users at all levels. If 
your work runs to multiple scenar- 
io evaluation, 1-2-3 is clearly the 

sheet for you. If you're an old 
1 -2-3 jockey who doesn't want to 
give up the old slash-key menu 
commands, you'll enjoy the many 
new capabilities of the program 
while still being able to use your 
old, faithful commands. Lotus is 
once again in the forefront of 
spreadsheet technology in the 
new world of Windows. 

Circle Reader Service Number 371 


As the most recently released 
spreadsheet, Excel 5.0 has the 
most complete set of new fea- 
tures, matching the competition 
in almost every respect. It offers 
a set of truly dazzling ease-of- 
use enhancements, clever appli- 
cation of Microsoft's "Intelli- 
Sense" technology to let the com- 
puter do as much thinking for you 
as possible, and a complete re- 


The Test Lab pick as the finest Win- 
dows spreadsheet that money 
can buy is clearly Microsoft Excel 
5.0, though not by a large margin. 
As the most recently released of 
the Big Three, it's had time to 
match the competition's latest in- 
novations and add a few of its 
own. It's a superb spreadsheet, 
suitable for anyone with hardware 
powerful enough to run it. 

The best buy is Quattro Pro 5.0 
for Windows, hands down. At one- 
fifth the price of the other me- 
gasheets, with a rich feature set 
that's only slightly out-belled and 
-whistled by Excel, and with sever- 
al unusual strengths of its own, Quat- 
tro Pro has to be the sheet of 
choice for anyone wanting to con- 
serve precious financial resources. 

Lotus 1-2-3 Release 4.01 for Win- 
dows doesn't lag far behind. For 
those who can run the old slash- 
key menus of the DOS versions of 
1-2-3 in their sleep, the Classic 
menu feature here may tip the 
scales in favor of 1-2-3 for Win- 
dows. Its unusually versatile Sce- 
nario Manager makes it the sheet 
of choice for those who frequently 
perform involved what-if analysis. 




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working of its menus to match 
those in Microsoft Word for Win- 
dows 6.0— eight of its nine men- 
us are the same as Word's. In 
addition, Excel now shares 
Word's spelling checker. 

But the best news of all is that 
Excel finally has standard three- 
dimensional worksheets with note- 
book-style tabs for each page, cor- 
recting the biggest weakness of 
earlier versions. 

All the structural changes (men- 
us, 3-D tabs) mean that faithful 
Excel 4.0 users will have to un- 
learn certain behaviors (unless 
they elect to turn on the Excel 4.0 
menus). Macros from version 4.0 
will also present problems. The 
changeover should prove to be 
worth the temporary disorienta- 
tion, however, especially if you're 
also using Word. 

You'll enjoy the intelligent func- 
tions. AutoSum — a button that 
reads the sheet to determine 
what you probably want added — 
is old hat, but Excel's new version 
detects subtotals in the range 
and automatically compensates 
for them. It also sets up a collaps- 
ible outline based on the detect- 
ed subtotals. Or try the Sort icon: 
It reads the columns around the 
active cell, determines what 
needs to be sorted, and performs 
the sorting in those cells automat- 
ically—a process that used to re- 
quire a half dozen steps of spec- 
ifying parameters and ranges. 
Excel even knows to sort text 
dates chronologically, not alpha- 
betically. It all seems magical, 


Microsoft Excel 5.0 
Suggested retail price: $495 

Minimum requirements: 286 PC (386 
recommended) with 4MB RAM, 
Windows 3.1, 9MB hard drive space 
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though it's not uncommon to find 
that Excel has not quite guessed 
your intentions accurately, due to 
unusual items in your data. 

To really light up your eyes 
with wonder, however, try the 
AutoFilter function on amulticolum- 
ned list (which you could accurate- 
ly call a database). Excel analyz- 
es the database, recognizes the 
column headings as field names, 
and creates drop-down lists for 
each column showing all the val- 
ues for that field. Click on the val- 
ue or values you want to see, and 
Excel filters out all other items. 
Considering how hard this used 
to be — involving setting up crite- 
ria and output ranges and so 
forth — this seems a true miracle. 

Excel users have enjoyed the 

Chart Wizard, an automated tuto- 
rial function that walks you 
through the chart creation proc- 
ess. The new version now in- 
cludes a Function Wizard that 
helps you create formulas by 
prompting for and explaining the 
often complex arguments that go 
into the formulas. A Text Import Wiz- 
ard helps with importing data from 
other formats and parsing it into co- 
lumnar spreadsheet data. The Piv- 
ot Table Wizard walks you 
through the involved process of set- 
ting up multidimensional models 
that borrow some of the most at- 
tractive features of Lotus Improv. 

The Tip Wizard is a fascinating 
idea: It watches what you do with 
Excel, analyzes it, and pops up 
tips to help you do the same 
things more quickly or directly. It 
supposedly learns your style and 
doesn't repeat itself too much, 
but I found only about half of its 
suggestions to be valuable and 
turned it off after a week or so. Dur- 
ing that first week, however, I 
learned dozens of new things it 
would probably have taken 
months to discover on my own — 
and I suspect I never would have 
discovered some of them. It's a 
good feature to have, especially 
while you're learning Excel 5.0. 

Excel changed its macro Ian- 

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The Baarns Utilities provides 23 help- 
ful utility functions Microsoft some- 
how forgot to include in Excel's 
more than 20 megabytes of pro- 
gram. There's some pretty handy 
stuff here, including a beefed-up 
autosave function that saves up to 



The Baarns Utilities will paste vari- 
ous formats of date and time into 
spreadsheets, warn you of up to 12 
timed reminders, cleanse a work- 
sheet of all print parameters, dial 
any phone number in the work- 
sheet, and fix Excel so that it natu- 
rally opens files in full-screen win- 
dows. And there are a dozen or 
more additional functions. 

As powerful and packed with fea- 
tures as Excel is, there's still room for 





lammismmm^ymmrn'm^ s 

nine incremental copies, an express 
math function that allows you to ap- 
ply a math operation to every item in 
a row or column, and a save-as-icon 
feature that sets up an icon with 
both Excel and the open files in 
place next time you run the program. 
A template Wizard called Baarns 
New creates a library of spread- 
sheet templates to which you can as- 
sign longer, 31-character names. 
Baarns Zoom pops up a slider con- 
trol to allow you to display your work- 
sheet quickly at any level of magni- 
fication you choose. 

jft-ji»uijii) »aigB 'jM i 

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guage completely, adopting Visual 
Basic for Applications (VBA), 
although it still supports the XLM 
macro language from previous ver- 
sions. VBA, a subset of Microsoft's 
Visual Basic programming lan- 
guage, will eventually be the mac- 
ro language for all Microsoft Win- 
dows applications. Excel still 
records macros as you work, so 
you won't need to learn this pro- 
gramming language unless you 
want to do something fancy. 

Charting is powerful, with 
more than a dozen graph types 
available, including a set of 3-D 
graphs. The Wizard walks you 
through the process, but may not 



be necessary for simple graphs, 
which Excel creates intelligently. 
All you need to do is highlight the 
data range you want graphed 
and click on a button. A new 
"drag and plot" feature lets you 
add to a graph by highlighting a 
new range and dragging it onto 
the existing graph. 

Charting is so powerful now, 
however, that it can be overwhelm- 
ing, even with the Wizard's help. 
A few of the more exotic graph- 
ing features were unintelligible at 
first, even with the Wizard's usu- 
ally helpful dialog boxes. 

Other notable features include 
the ability to edit a cell's contents 

on the spreadsheet rather than 
up in the control panel and rich 
cell formatting, which lets you ap- 
ply formatting to parts of cell con- 
tents. Not only does the status 
line display an explanation for 
whatever is under the cursor, but 
if you let the cursor linger on an 
icon, a small label explaining the 
icon appears near the cursor. 

Worksheet outlining analyzes 
your data's hierarchy and creates 
an outline structure in the left mar- 
gin. You can collapse and ex- 
pand at subtotals and totals, giv- 
ing you both detailed and summa- 
ry reports in the same worksheet. 

Excel supports Microsoft's new 
OLE 2.0 specification, which ef- 
fectively lets you embed not only 
Excel's data and format in a Word 
(or other OLE 2.0-compliant appli- 
cation) document, but also the 
Excel program itself, complete 
with its own menus and operating 
characteristics. It's an exciting 
idea, but unless you have 16MB or 
more of RAM in an ultrafast ma- 
chine, it's glacially slow. 

Excel abounds with both flashy 
new features and quiet, almost- 
unnoticed elegant new ease-of- 
use touches. Microsoft also has 
enhanced Excel's powerful num- 
ber-crunching abilities in every 
way imaginable, including im- 
proved access to outside databas- 
es through Microsoft Query. This 
is a program that's easy to love. 

Circle Reader Service Number 372 


Borland invented many of the 
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ing tabbed notebook pages, right- 
button mouse clicks for shortcut 
menus, and many graphing fea- 
tures. Although imitated, Quattro 
Pro retains its lead with its mas- 
terfully mature implementation of 


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Easier to 

use than 1-2-3 

or Excel! 


,1 Borland 

i Quattro Pro 

*V Windows spreadslieeipowermade easy 

these features. Notebook tabs, 
for instance, are more useful in 
Quattro Pro: You can drag and 
drop them to change the order of 
pages, include them in selecta- 
ble named groups, and even use 
them in formulas. 

Similarly, Quattro Pro's graph- 
ing module is superior, with more 
graph types, intelligent graphing 
that determines graph type by an- 
alyzing the number and nature of 
data sets, a light table for sorting 
slides, and slide shows with daz- 
zling transition effects. 

Quattro Pro reflects Borland's 
practice of price cutting (and with 
a vengeance): The standard ver- 
sion (reviewed here) is priced at 
$99.95 (after a several-month in- 
troductory period at $49.95!). The 
other major players are priced at 
$495. Is the competition five times 
better? Noway. Many would argue 
that the competition is not better at 
all. There is absolutely no question 
that Quattro Pro is an outstanding 
value. (There is a $495 version: 
Quattro Pro 5.0 for Windows, 
Workgroup Edition.) 

Quattro Pro's features prove its 
value. You can get help for every 
object on the screen, including the 
dozens of cryptic icons, by click- 
ing on them with the right mouse 
button. A brief explanation window 
appears with a button to call up 
the full help screen. Help— the 
right help, not just the contents 
screen — is never more than two 
clicks away. Brief explanations for 
most onscreen objects also ap- 
pear on the status line as the cur- 



Quattro Pro 5.0 lor Windows, 

Standard Edition 

Suggested retail price: $99.95 

Minimum requirements: 386SX PC 
or higher with 4MB RAM, Windows 
3.1, 10MB hard drive space 

100 Borland Way 
Scans Valley, CA 95066 
(800) 331-0877 
(408) 431-1000 

sor passes over the objects. 

Because of a court decision, 
Borland had to remove its direct 
support for the old Lotus 1-2-3 
slash-key menu. Macros from 1-2- 
3 files now require substantial ed- 
iting to work in Quattro Pro. 

Quattro Pro's tutorials are fully 
interactive. You work on your own 
spreadsheet data (although the 
program supplies samples if you 
want) while the tutorial program 
instructs you and makes sure you 
do the right things. It's excellent 
as far as it goes, but it covers on- 
ly elementary matters. 

Five interactive Experts (similar 
to Excel's Wizards) hold your 
hand through the processes of cre- 
ating graphs, scenarios, and con- 
solidations as well as determining 

if compiling your formulas would 
help (the Performance Expert). 
The Analysis Expert offers instruc- 
tion on 19 advanced functions, in- 
cluding miniapplications that cre- 
ate a mortgage amortization table 
and evaluate possible mortgage 
refinancing. The noninteractive 
Parse Expert evaluates and con- 
verts imported text strings to 
spreadsheet data. Quattro Pro's 
Experts are the most powerful 
and easy to understand of the 
help features found in this group 
of spreadsheets. 

There's help with @ functions 
on the status line, showing the syn- 
tax of the function as you enter it. 
While you're creating formulas in 
the control panel's input area 
(Quattro Pro doesn't yet let you 
work on the face of the work- 
sheet), it helps keep track of nest- 
ed parentheses by color-coding 
them in pairs. Quattro Pro, with 
373 @ functions, has more than 
any other program. 

All this dragging and dropping 
of cells that spreadsheet users 
love can be dangerous, especial- 
ly to someone with a less-than- 
sure hand on the mouse. It's easy 
in 1-2-3, for instance, to acciden- 
tally overwrite the contents of a 
cell by releasing the mouse but- 
ton in the wrong place. Quattro 

-lESSON6.WBl:Combo Graph 


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NC 27408. 

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orders. Offer expires September 30,1994. 



Pro prevents this by prompting 
you for permission before it over- 
writes cell contents. 

The Scenario Manager is not 
as far-reaching as 1 -2-3's, but it's 
considerably easier to use and 
more flexible. The Data Modeling 
Desktop is a separate, linked ap- 
plication that provides multidimen- 
sional modeling. It's not as pow- 
erful as Improv nor as easy to use 
as the Wizard-assisted pivot table 
in Excel, but it works well. The 
Data Desktop is a similar applica- 
tion that provides access to out- 
side database files. You need 
Quattro Pro's Workgroup Edition 
to reach beyond your own hard 
disk into networked files. 

Quattro Pro isn't perfect: Its 
menu structure seems cluttered 
and somehow different from the 
style of most Windows applica- 
tions, for instance. The installation 
routine warns you to be sure noth- 
ing else is running, even asking 
you to boot with stripped-down con- 
figuration files. It also wants Share 
installed with certain specific par- 
ameters. On my system, the 
change in Share subtly fouled up 
other Windows applications until I 
undid the parameter changes. Pro- 
fessional software should not be 
that persnickety. 

But blemishes and all, Quattro 
Pro is a powerhouse of a spread- 
sheet that will meet almost any- 
one's needs for years to come — 
at one-fifth the price of the com- 
petition. It's a best buy. 

Circle Reader Service Number 373 

DS Lab Pro 2.0 

Suggested retail price: $1,495 (1000 
eiements and 2048 steps), $295 for 
DS Lab Standard 2.0 (100 elements 
and 366 steps; 500 pages of 
documentation supplied only on 

Minimum requirements: 286 PC 
with 2MB RAM (4MB 
recommended), DOS 5 or higher, 
Windows 3.1, 2.5MB hard drive 

5 Whitney Dr. 
Greenwich, CT 06831 
(800) 828-8760 
(203) 531-9043 





Called "the visual spreadsheet," 
DS Lab Pro 2.0 creates spread- 
sheets without cells, columns, or 
rows. Instead, you work with sym- 
bols, arrows, and text placed on 

a white free-form background. It's 
like a computerized cocktail nap- 
kin or whiteboard after a produc- 
tive brainstorming session. 

DS Lab's building blocks are 
elements (represented by sym- 
bols) and connecting arrows 
linked under the surface of the 
spreadsheet by formulas. Six sym- 
bols — variables, inputs, con- 
stants, tables, series, and shad- 
ows — provide the data points for 
the model. To understand these 
terms — variables, constants, 
tables, series — remember your 
math and algebra classes. 
These terms will come back to 
you. Shadows are elements set 
up to be exact copies of other 
elements elsewhere on the work- 
sheet. Change the original ele- 
ment, and the shadow reflects 
the change automatically. 

Drag these elements from the 
palette onto the drawing canvas, 
type in a name, and connect them 
with other symbols. Once the flow 
of information and logic is defined, 
go back to define the connections 
by providing formulas. 

A clever dialog box listing all 
available elements, variables, 
and functions lets you click formu- 
la parts into place, separated by 
mathematical operators (plus, 
minus, and so forth). When you 

DS Lab Pro |Decision Support Laboratory! (PV&IRR.LAB1 
Simulation Window Hcl 

^[TE&gag Q7IoI^TfT^al®J<T^llMIllg 

Examples of the 
and Advanced Pi 



• of the Present Value 
t Value Functions 

ble monthly Payments 
IS 1 ,000,00] 


(or Windows 

User's Guide 

Modeling Software F(|liWflr e, l«. 

activate the model, it asks for the 
specified inputs and displays the 
results at each step of the way. 

You can print the flow dia- 
grams, move the images to other 
Windows programs through the 
Clipboard, and paste the spread- 
sheet data into Excel for further 
work, such as the creation of 
graphs. While DS Lab stands 
alone, it has a special relationship 
with Excel, making possible one- 
step export and DDE links. 

Consider a simple model 
where the gross sales figure 
equals units sold times unit price. 
In DS Lab, you'd start with a varia- 
ble input triangle for units sold and 
a square for a constant unit price, 
and you'd draw arrows from each 
of them to a circle representing the 
resulting variable, gross sales. 
Gross sales would have a formula 
created in a dialog box to record 
that it results from multiplying the 
two other factors. When you ran 
the model, you'd input a figure for 
units sold, and the gross sales 
amount would appear on the 
screen. You don't need a flow dia- 
gram for a simple two-element for- 
mula like this, but complex relation- 
ships are more easily understood 
from this visual presentation. 

DS Lab is a brainstorming tool 
best suited to answering questions 
of "Howmuch?" through visual anal- 
ysis of a process. Use it when the 
logical flow of data is not apparent 
in a traditional spreadsheet and 
when communication of the proc- 
ess itself is part of the objective. 

Circle Reader Service Number 374 

FuziCalc 1.11 for Windows 
Introductory price: $99 

Minimum requirements: 386 PC 
with 4MB RAM running in enhanc 
mode, Windows 3.1 or higher, 2.3I 
hard drive space 

P.O. BOX 11287 
Knoxville, TN 37939 
(800) 472-6183 
(615) 588-4144 


One problem with spreadsheets is 
that they require precise numbers 
when many of the situations we 
use spreadsheets to analyze are 
anything but precise. Budgets and 
projections are prime examples — 
they deal with probability ranges, 
not clean, crisp predictions. Elab- 
orate tools such as Lotus 1-2-3's 
Version Manager are the best 
means spreadsheets have to com- 
pensate for this uncertainty. They 
require you to enter each combi- 
nation of variables you want to eval- 
uate — a tedious and ultimately im- 
possible project. 

Enter FuziCalc for Windows. 

Using the principles of "fuzzy" log- 
ic and "fuzzy" mathematics, this 
wondrous spreadsheet lets you 
quantify your expectations in 
rough ("fuzzy") ways, then calcu- 
lates the most likely outcome. 
You can elect to treat each data 
item on the spreadsheet as a 
crisp or a fuzzy number. If you 
"fuzzify" it, you'll specify minimum 
and maximum likely values and 
either a single most likely value or 
a small range of most likely val- 
ues. FuziCalc displays this infor- 
mation as a "belief graph" and 
uses it in the calculations that fol- 
low. Belief graphs are simple, eas- 
ily learned representations of 
your best guesses of potential out- 
comes. You may think, for exam- 
ple, "Sales could be as high as 
$1 .8 million next year, but certain- 
ly no lower than $1 .2 million. The 
most likely value is $1 .6 to $1 .7 mil- 
lion." A single fuzzified cell 
accepts all this information. 

Fuzzify as many numbers as 
appropriate for your model— they 
can all be fuzzy, if you want. Build 
the model just as you would any 
other spreadsheet, perhaps multi- 
plying sales by a fuzzy percent- 
age to estimate cost of sales, and 
so forth. At the end of the sheet, 
the calculated figures will be the 
"centroid" values resulting from all 





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the fuzzy calculations — in es- 
sence, your best guess as to the 
most likely outcome. You can also 
examine the belief graph for the out- 
come, which shows you the range 
from lowest likely to highest likely 
values with the most likely range 

As a spreadsheet, FuziCalc is 
pretty graceless, lacking most of 
the interface niceties discussed 
in the other reviews. It's best to cre- 
ate the models using another 
spreadsheet program, then write 
the sheet out to a SYLK-format 
file. Read that into FuziCalc, 
fuzzify the appropriate numbers, 
and the job is done. 

FuziCalc's robust calculus eval- 
uates all this data in ways that 
would take hours and days with 
pencil and paper, even if we knew 
how to attack fuzzy math. It's a pow- 
erful tool for dealing with the num- 
bers of reality, not the imaginary 
precise numbers found in ordinary 
spreadsheets. People who deal 
with forecasts, budgets, and other 
models involving guesses and rang- 
es of uncertainty will find FuziCalc 
to be a godsend. 

Circle Reader Service Number 375 


Lotus's remarkable Improv 2.1 is 
mightily different from other 
spreadsheet programs. As you pe- 
ruse the features grid in this Test 
Lab, be aware that Improv is not 
meant to be stacked up feature 



for feature against the Big Three. 

Improv is a multidimensional 
data-modeling tool. To understand 
that mouthful of technospeak, you 
need to see how Improv works. 
First, the data isn't kept on a spread- 
sheet in row and column cells. 
Instead, Improv stores the data out 
of sight in a central database. 
Data points are not row and col- 
umn references but rather bear a 
name built from the row and col- 
umn headings. A number in the 
October row and the Sales column 
would be "Sales:October" through- 
out the model. No matter how you 
move the rows and columns 
through Improv's multidimensional 
workspace, that number will be 
wherever Sales and October 
meet. If you add a 3-D page for 
years, it might become "1994: 

The power of this method 
becomes obvious when you start 
playing with the data. If you laid 
out monthly rows and budget cat- 
egory columns stacked in neat pag- 
es by year, you'd have a fairly com- 
mon spreadsheet file. With Improv, 
however, you can grab any cate- 
gory's label and drag it elsewhere. 
Swap the row and column tags, 
and all the data moves to the right 
places. Pull the year label down 
from the next page and put it next 
to the months, and the sheet will 
show a list of months that contin- 
ues through the years down the 
page. The ways you can slice and 
dice the data are endless, 
especially considering that Improv 

:e: SI 29 




Computer Associates' main spread- 
sheet, SuperCalc, has always 
been a superb but little-known 
DOS product. Its CA-Compete is 
a Windows-based multidimension- 
al spreadsheet, somewhat like Lo- 
tus Improv. CA declined to have 
CA-Compete reviewed here be- 
cause it and SuperCalc are under- 
going a major redesign. 

The new product, due later this 
year, will be CA-SuperCalc for Win- 
dows. CA promises that this will 
be a blending of a special Improv- 
like approach (including multidi- 
mensional modeling, a central da- 
tabase, and natural language for- 
mulas) with a full-featured Win- 
dows spreadsheet comparable to 
one of the Big Three. 

The price has not yet been set 
for this ambitious product. CA can 
be reached in Islandia, New York, 
at (516) DIAL-CAI. 

handles up to 12 dimensions. 

As you move the data around 
your virtual Rubik's cube of 
spreadsheet faces, you may find 
new and revealing relationships. 

Of course, there's more to 
Improv than supermalleable data 
presentation. Working with formu- 
las is a new adventure as well. 
You don't write formulas with cell 
references; you write them in Eng- 
lish, using the row, column, and 
page names to define the data 
points. Formulas don't appear on 
the face of the sheet; they're in a 
separate pane below the main 
sheet. It doesn't matter how you 
twist and rearrange the data pres- 
entation; the formulas remain val- 
id and without change. 

Improv creates collapsible out- 
lines. If your expense for utilities 
includes the costs of water, sew- 
er, and electricity, you can show 
the collapsed total for utilities on 
one line or expand it to show all 
three components. A sheet can 
hold an incredible amount of da- 
ta without overwhelming you if 
you collapse it into subtotals. 



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The interface is generally con- 
sistent with that of other new Lo- 
tus Windows products, including 
its use of the live status bar, 
which both informs you of fonts, 
cell format, and so forth and al- 
lows you to change these ele- 
ments quickly. A tiny icon at the 
end of the status bar pulls up a 

small dialog box that controls eve- 
ry aspect of cell formatting in one 
simple place. Improv has all the 
latest spreadsheet ease-of-use 
features— indeed, Lotus proudly 
points out that the original version 
of Improv written for NeXT com- 
puters invented right-button click- 
ing for speed menus and Smart- 

Fill for intelligent filling of ranges. 

Improv includes Lotus Chart, a 
graphing utility similar to that in 
1-2-3, as well as Lotus Script, a 
macro language that is also used 
in other Lotus Windows products. 

Improv is a whole new breed 
of program. Excel's pivot tables 
and Quattro Pro's Data Modeling 
Desktop mimic the ability to rear- 
range your data, but neither fea- 
ture comes close to providing the 
power and flexibility of Improv's sim- 
ilar feature. You'll probably want to 
hang on to your regular spread- 
sheet for straightforward work 
with rows and columns, but get 
Improv to really explore the 
relationships in your larger models. 

Until this spring, Improv was a 
$495 stand-alone spreadsheet- 
plus program. Now that the com- 
petition is including Improv-like 
features in their basic spread- 
sheets, Lotus has decided to 
treat Improv more like an add-on 
to its basic Windows spread- 
sheet. The price has dropped to 
$129. At this price, Improv is a 
remarkable bargain. 

Circle Reader Service Number 376 

add-in. A special subprogram that 
can be brought into the main pro- 
gram to perform a particular opera- 
tion. The Baarns Utilities, for exam- 
ple, is an add-in to Excel. 

©functions. Formulas in spread- 
sheet cells that compute various 
items such as sums, interest rates, 
payments, dates, and so forth. In 
spreadsheet parlance, these always 
start with an "@" sign to signal the 
program that these are special func- 
tions. Example: @SUM(A1 ..A20) 
would add the contents of cells A1 
through A20 and put the result in the 
cell where the formula is written. 

data pivoting. Moving rows and 
columns of data around the sheet, 
converting them between rows and 
columns at will. 

DDE. A Windows term, short for 
Dynamic Data Exchange. A method 
for automatically passing information 
between programs so that when a 
change is made in one application's 


file, it's reflected in the other applica- 
tion's file automatically. 

in-cell editing. Editing and work- 
ing with cell contents in the spread- 
sheet grid rather than in the control 
panel at the top of the screen. 

macro. A series of keystrokes re- 
corded within a spreadsheet that 
can be replayed at any time by the 
user. Usually keyed to Alt-key or Ctrl- 
key combinations. 

OLE. Short for Object Linking and 
Embedding. Another Windows 
term, OLE refers to taking a piece of 
one application's information and 
"embedding" it in another applica- 
tion's file. With OLE, if you embed an 
Excel spreadsheet in a Word docu- 
ment, you can work on the spread- 
sheet using Excel menus and com- 
mands while in the Word document. 

rich cell formatting. Most spread- 
sheets allow assigning formatting op- 
tions such as fonts and colors only 
to whole cells. With rich cell format- 

ting, you can assign these charac- 
teristics to individual characters with- 
in a cell. 

scenarios. A spreadsheet can be 
a model — a series of relationships be- 
tween data elements. If you change 
a basic input, the rest of the sheet 
changes as a result. Scenarios are 
these multiple iterations of the sheet 
with different input values. Working 
with these scenarios is called what- 
if analysis. 

slash-key menu. The original Lo- 
tus 1-2-3 menu was brought up by 
hitting the forward-slash key. Even 
the latest Windows version of 1-2-3 
still responds to the original slash- 
key menu commands because so 
many millions of users know them by 

what-if analysis. See scenarios. 

Wizard. An automation feature 
that uses artificial intelligence to 
lead you through a complex proc- 
ess. Also called Expert. 


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If the coupon is missing, write to us at 
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4401 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008 

J Check one FREE catalog only 


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check for details 

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City/State/Zip Accredited Member, National Home Study Council 5403-( 


LUCID 3-D 1.15 FOR 

Aimed at homes and small offic- 
es, Lucid 3-D for Windows is a 
full three-dimensional spread- 
sheet that leaves out the more 
exotic features of the Big Three 
megaspreadsheets. While it's a 
robust Windows spreadsheet in 
its own right, it does not attempt 
to compete with the Big Three. 
Though many of us wouldn't be 
caught dead without the latest ver- 
sion of a high-tech spreadsheet 
on our hard disk, a surprising num- 
ber of us never need anything 
Lucid 3-D doesn't provide. New- 
ly priced at $39.95, it's a good fit 
for its intended market. 

Lucid 3-D has the standard 
256 tabbed pages, formatting op- 
tions galore, multiple icon bars, a 
healthy graphing function, drag- 
and-drop capabilities, intelligent 
autofill functions, 160 ©functions, 
right-click shortcut menus, and 
built-in links to palmtop computers 
such as the Casio B.O.S.S. and 
Sharp Wizard. It imports files from 
Excel 4.0 and the DOS versions of 
Lotus 1-2-3, but it doesn't export 
in those file formats. 

With an eye to the home user, 
Lucid 3-D includes 50 FastForms— 

Lucid 3-D 1.15 lor Windows 
Special price: $39.95 (suggested 
retail price: $109.95} 

Minimum requirements: 386 PC 
with 4MB RAM, Windows 3.1 or 
higher, 4MB hard drive space 


101 W. RennerRd., Ste. 450 

Richardson, TX 75082 

(800) 925-8243 

(214) 994-8100 

spreadsheet templates of common- 
ly used forms, such as expense re- 
ports, purchase orders, and a 
home inventory. Forms to compute 
baseball batting averages and 
keep a video inventory add a per- 
sonal flavor. While these forms 
save time, they're just bare tem- 
plates with little intelligence (an 
elegant telephone area code look- 
up table is the exception here). 
Compared to the applications you 
can develop with the Big Three 
sheets, these are minor-league. 

Lucid 3-D takes only 3.8MB of 
hard disk space. Its documenta- 
tion is, well, lucid. The only func- 
tion I missed during limited test- 
ing was a fit-to-the-page printing 
option. Some will miss the DDE 
and OLE support that won't be in 

Lucid 3-D for Windows 
Graphics I 

lent -1993 





$9,800.00 $1 1 .500.00 $3,400 00 $37,200.00 

S2.000.00 52,000 00 52,000 00 58,000.00 
$3,000.00 $3.00000 $3,000.00 $1 2,000.00 

$750.00 $450 Of) 

$76.00 $125.00 

$175.00 $130.00 

$35000 $3,050.00 
$85.00 $43500 
$140 00 $635.00 

$6,000.00 $5,705.00 $5,575 00 $24,180.00 
$3 900 00 S5.7A-S 00 $2.825 $13.020.00 

Expenses - 1993 





Expenses by Quarter 



Lucid 3-D until the next version, 
due in the fall of 1994. The next 
upgrade will also import and 
export more file formats. 

Unfortunately, I had trouble 
importing simple Lotus 1-2-3 Re- 
lease 2.2 files with Allways format- 
ting. Files often came in with 
some data garbled enough to 
crash the system when I tried to 
save the file. 

Lucid 3-D is a surprisingly 
capable spreadsheet — unless its 
bugs are acting up— for home 
and small-office users with limited 
needs. It comes with a 30-day 
money-back guarantee, so you 
can find out without risk if it's 
going to work with your particular 

Circle Reader Service Number 377 



Windows Spreadsheet 

Lotus 1-2-3 



Excel 5.0 

Quattro Pro 

5.0 for 


Improv 2.1 

Lucid 3-D 

1.15 for 



Hard disk space (min-max) 






OLE version supported 






Ease-of-Use Features 

In-cell editing 






Varying formatting in same cell 






Interactive tutors 






Spelling checker 






Live status bar 












Autof it column width 






Autosum icon 






Onscreen icon explanations 






Number of Wizards/Experts 



Center label over range 






Interactive page preview 






Analysis Functions 

Number of @ functions 






Data-pivoting function 






Create custom functions 






Worksheet auditing tools 






Multivariate backsolver 






Onscreen function explanations 






Graphs, Charts, and Presentations 

Automatic table formatting 






Rotate text in cell 





Word-wrap in cell 






Onscreen slide show 






Drag and plot 







1-2-3 Classic menu support 






I mports/exports 

Lotus 1 -2-3 for DOS formats 






Quattro Pro for DOS formats 






Excel 4.0 and earlier formats 






Quattro Pro for Window formats 






Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows R2.1 






DBF database files 






"90 degrees rotation only 



Tom Campbel 

Microsoft has made 

some minor 

missteps on its way 

to earth-shattering 

success with Visual 



Microsoft has made some mi- 
nor but interesting missteps 
on its way to earth-shattering 
success with Visual Basic, a 
language that made the most 
spectacular debut since Tur- 
bo Pascal's in 1983. One of 
them was with Grid, which pro- 
vides the barest feature set of 
a spreadsheet in the form of a 
drop-in custom control. Grid 
wasn't quite ready for prime 
time when Visual Basic made 
its very auspicious debut, so 
someone at Microsoft quietly 
uploaded a version of it to Com- 
puServe and other online serv- 
ices shortly after Visual Ba- 
sic's introduction. 

Grid gives you an interface 
that looks like a spreadsheet 
in Excel. It has a matrix of 
cells that can be navigated us- 
ing either the keyboard or the 
mouse. It has optional horizon- 
tal and vertical scroll bars; op- 
tional "fixed" rows and col- 
umns that appear gray at the 
top row and leftmost column 
of the grid, allowing you to 
have row and column titles; 
and the ability to let you resize 
rows and columns simply by 
dragging the mouse (this last 
one is a feature that earned Ex- 
cel for the Macintosh rave re- 
views years before there was 
a Windows version). 

I'm sure Microsoft wouldn't 
have released it if the people 
there had understood what it 
would mean to let that partic- 
ular genie out of its bottle. But 
there was just too much de- 
mand for a custom control 
that would allow users to pre- 
sent data in a row-and-column 
format. Besides, it looks really 
cool to have what looks like a 
mini Excel built into your app. 

Grid is also known to have 
its problems. It's not data 
aware, so you can't use it out 

of the box to browse databas- 
es or to read in a few records 
at a time because it reads all 
of its contents into RAM. 
There's no way to enter data 
into a cell, so you have to fake 
it using a floating edit box (not 
difficult, though, and the VB 
manuals have an example 
showing how to do it that inci- 
dentally illustrates VB's amaz- 
ing flexibility). As it turns out, 
some of Grid's "features" 
could legitimately be regard- 
ed as design problems, as 
you'll see in a moment. 

The drop-in routine availa- 
ble online for this month's col- 
umn is called FillGrid, which 
you'll find in the TPHONE.ZIP 
distribution. I've made it gener- 
ic so you can just add it to any 
Visual Basic project as a mod- 
ule. Just open a database and 
a table; then pass FillGrid the 
name of the grid, the name of 
the table, and a third para- 
meter that allows you to use Fill- 
Grid's local error handler if you 
wish. Unlike other example pro- 
grams you'll see which hard- 
code the name of the control 
into the example, this will let 
you view any table up to 2000 
rows — Grid's limit— without writ- 
ing a line of code yourself. I've 
included it as part of a nifty lit- 
tle phone book application so 
you can see it in action. 

FillGrid shows some useful 
concepts, notably using the 
Windows API to figure out how 
wide each column of the grid 
should be. It uses the ever- 
handy GetTextExtent API rou- 
tine to determine how wide 
each field should be by com- 
puting its width in logical units 
and ANDing that value with 
&FFFFH because GetTextEx- 
tent also returns the height of 
the character in the upper two 
words. FillGrid also does you 
the courtesy of making the 
field the width of the field 
name if the name has more 
characters in it than the field; 
otherwise, a Boolean field 
named, for example, Present 

would look like Pin the grid. Fill- 
Grid's brevity is a tribute to Vis- 
ual Basic. The C code re- 
quired to implement a grid 
would be overwhelming; using 
the Grid VBX with Visual C++ 
is also quite a bit more work, 
although much more manage- 
able than it would be in C. 

Of course, you'd like to see 
more features. The most obvi- 
ous one is the ability to edit the 
database by inserting and de- 
leting records, but that brings 
up some interesting issues. Vis- 
ual Basic's database engine is 
designed to be multiuser. 
What happens if someone de- 
letes a record from the same 
table you're using? Since your 
program isn't informed of this, 
the contents of your grid be- 
come invalid without your know- 
ing it. Much more complicated 
is the idea of selecting a re- 
cord in the grid and connect- 
ing that selection with a record 
in the table. You'd have to 
read the record's position— in 
essence, its number in the 
grid— and somehow relate 
that record number to a re- 
cord number in the table. But 
the Visual Basic database en- 
gine doesn't think in record 
numbers, again because they 
make no sense in a multiuser 

The best way to handle this 
situation is to replace Grid 
with a data-aware custom 
grid control. In later issues we 
will examine the best of the 
best, although for now, you 
might just want to look toward 
FarPoint Technologies' 

SpreadA/BX. SpreadA/BX will 
give you many true spread- 
sheet functions, including for- 
mulas and Clipboard support. 
Or you may want to try Far- 
Point's lower-cost Grid/VBX, 
which gives you a topnotch, da- 
ta-aware grid without the 
spreadsheet-specific fea- 
tures. Contact FarPoint at 
(804) 378-0432 or (804) 378- 
1015 (fax). Both of these prod- 
ucts are excellent. □ 



WHWf COIillilAnDe*, 

"he life of a seasoned starfighter pilot isn't all glory and 
adventure. After years of following orders and losing 
ships and friends, you are finally the sole commander of the 
fleet, responsible for heading up a final strike against your 
enemy's homeland - either the Empire of Kilrah or the 

This war requires real strategy, not just hotshot piloting. 
You determine where to fight, how to fight, and what ships 
you need to get the job done. In Wing Armada, you have the 
freedom to build your own universe, your own missions and 
your own campaign. 


Key Features: ^^ l 

> Pit yourself against a friend, computer, or 

with a friend against the computer - via modem or network. 

> Choose to fly intense dogfight scenarios, search-and-destroy battles or 
extended campaigns. 

>• Never play the same game twice as you explore, fortify and mine hundreds 
of planets in an infinite number of randomly generated universes. 

>- Live out your life as a top-notch Terron or Kilrathi pilot and choose to fly up 
to 1 different ships. 

> Customize taunts and controls with Armada's built-in audio file integrator 
and keyboard configuration utility. 

>- View RealSpace texture-mapped, 3-D polygonal ships at up to 25 frames 
per second! 

> Carefully plot tactical moves to stop your enemy cold - but beware, the tides 
of war may swiftly turn your next moveinto your last! 

Actual screens may vary. 
A Stand-Alone Game 
Made in U.S.A. 


Wa av&^ 

e ivcyJUM 

I P.O. BOX 161750 AUSTIN, IX 78716 | 

Circle Reader Service Number 160 


Edited by Richard C. Leinecker 

Finding super 

tips online and 

sorting out 

your directory 


Bigger, Better Tips 

This month, we're going to 
start something different in 
"Tips & Tools." Several pro- 
grams that are too big to be 
printed in the magazine will 
be uploaded to the COM- 
PUTE section of America On- 
line. I'll describe them in the 
column, and you can decide 
whether you want them or 

The first thing you need is 
the America Online software 
and an account. You can get 
the software and a password 
certificate by calling (800) 
827-6364. You'll get a free 
copy of the software and a cer- 
tificate for your initial connect 
Once online, find the COM- 
PUTE area with the keyword 
COMPUTE (press Ctrl-K; then 
type compute in the box). 
Then look in Software Library 
for Tips & Tools Collection. 

Not only will you get larg- 
er, more useful programs, but 
you'll get the source code. All 
of the programs we upload to 
Tips & Tools Collection will in- 
clude source code and instruc- 
tions for turning the source 
code into a program. 
This month, three programs 
are waiting for you. One, 
named DELEXT.EXE, deletes 
files with a given extension. It 
works for any directory (and, 
optionally, its subdirectories) 
or for the entire drive. Anoth- 
er program, named ONCE- 
ADAY.EXE, remembers per- 
forming tasks so that they get 
done only once a day: The 
third program, named GET- 
LINE. EXE, allows users to in- 
put a line of text and then as- 
sign it to an environment vari- 
able or a disk file. 

Any of you are welcome to 
send me your own programs 
that might be too big for the 
column. Unfortunately, we 
can't pay you for their use; 
the fee we pay is reserved for 
items that appear in the mag- 
azine. Sharing programs that 

you've created and found use- 
ful, though, may be reward 


Better File Displays 

I created a batch file that al- 
lows files to be displayed in 
certain orders. It's better than 
simply using the Dir com- 
mand because it has more 
flexibility. I named the batch 


REM First, check to make sure 

REM we have a parameter; then 

REM go to the appropriate batch 

REM file label. 

IF "%1"="" GOTO USAGE 

IF "%1"=="name" GOTO NAMEO 




IF"%1"=="size" GOTO SIZEO 


IF"%1"=="date" GOTO DATEO 


ECHO Invalid Parameter! 















ECHO Usage: 

ECHO To view file by name, type, 

ECHO size, or date, 

ECHO SHOWBY [option]. 

ECHO Option can be name, type, 

ECHO size, or date. 




Access Macros 

I'd like to thank you for the ad- 
vice you give readers in the 
"Tips & Tools" column. This 
information has been very help- 

ful to me. Good work! 

I have some advice for Micro- 
soft Access users. When writ- 
ing Access macros, it's help- 
ful to enter the comment lines 
before you actually enter the 
macro commands. First, think 
about the sequence of com- 
mands you need for the mac- 
ro. Next, type in the com- 
ments for each line, describ- 
ing in plain English what you 
want to accomplish. Finally, en- 
ter the commands next to the 
comments. In this way, the 
macro is fully documented, 
and you have a guide for en- 
tering the commands. This is 
especially helpful for long and 
complicated macros. 


QBASIC Command Lines 

I write a lot of programs using 
QBASIC. I used to be frustrat- 
ed with the fact that the pro- 
grams could not accept com- 
mand line parameters. This is 
because, unlike QuickBASIC, 
QBASIC is not equipped with 
the COMMANDS function. I 
got around this shortcoming 
by creating a batch file that ac- 
cepts command line parame- 
ters, assigns the values of the 
parameters to environment var- 
iables, and accesses them in 
the QBASIC environment via 
the ENVIRONS function. The 
following program and batch 
file illustrate the technique. 

The example addresses a 
DOS problem I needed to 
solve. Often, when I'm fin- 
ished working with a particu- 
lar program, I have another 
task which requires another 
program. Usually, that pro- 
gram resides in another direc- 
tory, and I'm forced to 
change to that directory be- 
fore executing the program. 
While this is fairly easy, it can 
grow tedious. Rather than ap- 
pending the directories to my 
already long path, I wrote this 
QBASIC program, which lets 
me run a program from any di- 


rectory on the hard drive. It's 
called EXECPATH.BAS, and 
the batch file is called AU- 
.BAS. An indented line is a 
continuation of the preceding 


CHDIR "\" 

SHELL "dir/s/b" + cmd$ + 

OPEN "\temp.fil" FOR INPUT 


INPUT #1,strng$ 

FOR n = LEN(strng$) TO 1 STEP -1 
IF MID$(strng$, n, 1) = "\" THEN 
strng$ = LEFT$(strng$, n - 1) 
n = 
CHDIR strngS 

Here is AUTO. BAT, the 
batch file that reads the com- 
mand line. 



People with QuickBASIC 
can modify the first line to 
read cmd$ = COMMANDS. 
The program can then be com- 
piled into an executable 
called EXECPATH.EXE. The 
batch file should then be mod- 
ified as follows. 



Place both files in a directo- 
ry that's in your path. I use my 
DOS directory, since it also 
contains QBASIC. 


It's the Humidity 

How many times have you 
shocked yourself by touching 
the doorknob of your comput- 

er room? That spark of static 
electricity is an indication of 
how dry your computing 
space is. Simply by walking 
across a carpet, you can ac- 
cumulate thousands of volts 
of electricity in your body. 
This electricity is relatively be- 
nign to you, but it can be 
deadly to your PC and its in- 
ternal parts. For example, 
most CPUs are designed to 
operate at 5 volts. A few are 
now available that operate at 
3.3 volts. If you discharge 
your static to one of the con- 
nectors on your motherboard, 
you could fry a delicate elec- 
tronic part. There are many so- 
lutions to the static problem, in- 
cluding touching the power 
supply or case before touch- 
ing any internal part. This will 
work fine. You can also at- 
tempt to eliminate static (or re- 
duce it) by humidifying the 
air. Air with a high relative hu- 
midity will suppress the ten- 
dency of fibers in your carpet 
to produce static electricity 
when your shoes brush 
across them. There are basi- 
cally two kinds of humidifi- 
ers — one that speeds up the 
rate at which water evapo- 
rates and one that sprays a 
fine mist into the air. The for- 
mer is preferred for use 
around computers because 
humidifiers that mist the air 
can also produce a fine white 
dust from the calcium in hard 
water. This dust is bother- 
some when it coats a monitor 
screen, but it can also get in- 
to moving parts and floppy 
disks and abrade them, result- 
ing in shorter useful lives. 


Annual Checksum 

Once a year, we run Check- 
sum for our new readers. To 
make sure you haven't en- 
tered a typo while entering 
one of the Debug scripts that 
appear in "Tips & Tools," 
type checksum, 

and a number will appear on 
your screen. Compare that 
number with the checksum 
that accompanies the listing. 
If they are the same, you've 
typed in all of the numbers cor- 
rectly. Here is the Debug 
script for CHECKSUM.COM. 
Make sure the DOS program 
called Debug is in your path 
or the current directory. In 
these examples, the italic text 
is what the computer prints; 
the roman text is what you 
should type. 


File not found 

-e100 bd 70 01 be 80 00 ac Oa 

-e108 cO 74 61 ac 3c Od 74 5c 

-e110 3c 20 74 f7 8b d6 4a ac 

-e118 3c Od 74 04 3c 20 75 f7 

-e 120 c6 44 ff 00 2b ff 8b f5 

-e128 b8 00 3d cd 21 72 3d 8b 

-e130 d8 b4 3f b1 01 8b d5 cd 

-e138 21 0a cO 74 06 8a 04 03 

-e140 f8 eb ee b4 3e cd 21 8b 

-e148 c7 bb 10 27 8b fd 2b d2 

-e150 H f3 04 30 aa 52 2b d2 

-6 158 8b c3 bb 0a 00 f7 f3 8b 

-e160 d8 58 0b db 75 e8 8b d5 

-e168 b4 09 cd 21 b4 4c cd 21 

-8 170 00 00 00 00 00 0d 0a 24 


CX 0000 



Writing 0078 bytes 


The checksum 


value is 

If you have an interesting tip 
that you think would help oth- 
er PC users, send it along 
with your name, address, and 
Social Security number to 
COMPUTE'S Tips & Tools, 
324 West Wendover Avenue, 
Suite 200, Greensboro, North 
Carolina 27408. For each tip 
we publish, we 'II pay you $25- 
$50. All tips submitted be- 
come the property of General 
Media International. O 

A logical way to 
write Access 
macros, reading the 
command line 
in QBASIC, and more 


Choose from over 30 rides, shops 
and attractions, including 5 rides 
you design yourself. 







Think you can design and bi 










Available for IBM" Floppy and CD ROM, Macintosh* Floppy and CD 
ROM, and 3 DO". Visit your local retailer or call 1.800.245.4525. 



Circle Reader Service Number 272 


Mark Minasi 

You don't have 

to be Dr. Frankenstein 

to perform 

a successful brain 



I had just a few minutes before 
I had to leave for the airport. 
I was installing Freelance for 
Windows, and I removed one 
of the installation floppy disks 
from my PC. That's when I no- 
ticed that the floppy was a 
mite warm. 

I reached behind the com- 
puter, and— sure enough— 
the fan wasn't blowing any air. 
The last time that happened, 
I had to replace the mother- 
board because the heat had 
weakened various compo- 
nents. I didn't relish replacing 
a 50-MHz 486DX, a local-bus 
accelerator, a 500MB hard 
disk, a VideoSpigot, a Sound 
Blaster, dual 16550 UARTs, 
and an Ethernet card. 

I shut down the computer 
and left on my trip, cussing. 

I wasn't cussing about the 
potential damage to the PC; I 
was pretty sure that I'd discov- 
ered the dead fan soon 
enough to shut down the PC 
before any damage had oc- 
curred. I was cussing about 
finding a replacement power 
supply for my tower PC. 

Until recently, power sup- 
plies were fairly generic 
things. But towers and the new- 
er desktop cases have power 
switches on the front, away 
from their power supplies. 
That presents the problem of 
how to put a power switch for 
the power supply away from 
the power supply. 

The answer is often to build 
some kind of combination" of 
proprietary case and power 
supply, which is unfortunately 
what the makers of my tower 
PC had done. 

As a result, I couldn't get 
just a new power supply; I had 
to get a whole new combina- 
tion — case and all. I had to do 
a PC brain transplant. 

I popped down to my local 
PC parts place and picked up 
a new case. It has a turbo 
switch; turbo, power, and disk 
drive lights; and a reset 
switch on the case, as well as 
a power switch up front (can't 
argue with progress, I guess). 
In order to create a small foot- 
print, it has only two half- 
height 5 1 /4-inch drive bays 
and a lone 3 1 /2-inch drive bay 
turned on its side. Inside, 
there is another 3 1 /2-inch 
drive bay that has no opening 
to the front. 

The idea with the drive 
bays is that you're supposed 
to put a 1 .2MB floppy drive in 
one of the 5 1 /i-inch bays, a 
CD-ROM drive in the other, a 
1.44MB floppy drive in the 
first 3 1 /2-inch bay, and a 3 1 /2- 
inch IDE drive in the last bay. 
It's not an optimal arrange- 
ment, in my view, as the 3 1 /2- 
inch bay is off-center and ro- 
tated 90 degrees from its nor- 
mal orientation, leading most 
users to assume that the 5V4- 
inch drive is the A drive. Also, 
there's no place for a second 
hard disk. But it's an accepta- 
ble case, and indeed, it's the 
case that's most popular 
among doners these days for 
a desktop PC. 

Much of the brain trans- 
plant was routine removal of 
boards and drives from the tow- 
er case and insertion of 
boards and drives in the new 
case. The tough part turned 
out to be connecting all the 
switches — which is what I 
want to explain this month. 

If you're taking the time to 
mount a PC motherboard in a 
case, you may as well do it 
right and hook up all the lights 
and switches. I'll assume that 
you've got the documentation 
on the motherboard some- 
where in the pile of papers 
that came with your computer. 
Find the connections on the 
motherboard for the reset 
switch, keylock/power-on 
LED, turbo LED, speaker, and 

turbo speed settings. 

Before going any further, 
however, make sure that 
you've got the power wires 
hooked up right. It turns out 
that the new cases make it pos- 
sible for you to burn down 
your house if you hook up 
these wires incorrectly. 

As I've already said, many 
modern PCs do not use a pow- 
er switch mounted on the 
right rear, as do older PCs 
with AT-type cases. Instead, 
newer PCs bring in the 110- 
volt line current to the PC front 
panel through a thick black ca- 
ble. The cable extends from 
the power supply to just be- 
hind a switch on the front pan- 
el. The switch has four flat con- 
nection points, called spade 
lugs, on it, and there are four 
wires inside that cable. These 
wires are black, blue, white, 
and brown. Your job is to con- 
nect the correct wires to the 
proper contacts. 

AC power doesn't include 
positive and negative wires. In- 
stead, there are hot and return 
wires. Ordinarily, the white is 
the hot, and the black is the re- 
turn. Older power supplies con- 
nect white and black wires to 
the power supply from the 
wall socket. The big red on/off 
switch mounted toward the 
right rear of the PC connects 
or disconnects both the black 
and the white lines simultane- 
ously when you flip the 

If you put the power switch 
on the rear of the case so that 
you can incorporate it directly 
into the power supply, the big 
red switch is all that's need- 
ed — but the needs of the new 
power supply's front-panel 
switches change all that. (Ac- 
tually, old power supplies also 
include a third wire— a green 
one — for ground, but it's not im- 
portant for this discussion.) 

In order to build a front-pan- 
el switch, manufacturers drag 
both the hot wire and the re- 
turn wire to the front of the 


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case, and then send them both back in- 
to the power supply. 

• The white wire connects the hot side 
of the wall outlet to the power switch. 

• The brown wire connects the hot 
side of the power supply's power input 
to the power switch. 

• The black wire connects the return 
side of the wall outlet to the power 

• The blue wire connects the return side 
of the power supply's power input to the 

When you turn the switch on, you con- 
nect black and blue, providing a return 
AC connection for the power supply, 
and you connect white and brown, pro- 
viding a hot AC connection for the pow- 
er supply. 

If you disconnect the black, blue, 
white, and brown wires from the front- 
panel switch, you should be able to see 

from the previous discussion how impor- 
tant it is to diagram your connections. 
This is one situation in which, if you 
reconnect things backward, you could 
end up directly connecting hot from the 
wall socket right into return from the 
wall socket. That would cause a short 
circuit that could make your computer 
catch fire, or— if your fuses or circuit 
breakers aren't up to snuff— your 
house could catch fire. 

If you look at the front-panel switch, 
you'll see four spade lugs where you 
can connect or disconnect the white, 
black, brown, and blue wires. You'll no- 
tice a very low ridge on the connector 
and two spade lugs on either side of the 
ridge. Before disconnecting the wires 
from the switch, notice that the black 
and the blue are on one side of the 
ridge and the white and the brown are 
on the other side. The ridge is just a re- 
minder about which wires go with 
which other wires. Just keep the white 

and the brown on one side and the 
black and the blue on the other side, 
and all will be well. The way I remember 
it is that one side is black and blue. 

If you have any doubts, however, it 
would be best to enlist the aid of a 
friend who's knowledgeable about AC 
power and voltmeters. You really can 
do some damage if you wire these 
switches wrong. 

Once the power is hooked up, you 
can concentrate on the other connec- 
tors. It would be nice if there were 
some kind of standard wiring color for 
the turbo switch, the turbo light, and the 
like. Since there isn't such a standard, 
here's the approach that I take to fig- 
ure out the keylock, turbo switch, reset 
switch, and turbo light. I'm assuming 
that you're trying to figure out which 
switch or LED on the front of the PC 
case goes with which wire-and-connec- 
tor combination inside the case. Then 
you can plug that connection into the 

appropriate place on the motherboard 
that you're installing. Your best tool for 
this job is a voltmeter. 

The easiest of the connections to iden- 
tify is the reset switch. It will have only 
two wires attached to it. Find a two-wire 
connection; then set the voltmeter on 
Rx1. Apply the leads to the two wires. 
Nothing will happen if it's the reset con- 
nection. Then press the reset button on 
the front of the case. If the needle 
jumps on the voltmeter, you've found 
the reset switch. 

At this point, you should mount the 
motherboard inside the case and con- 
nect the power and speaker to it. If you 
turn the PC on, you should get a series 
of beeps from the speaker. (The speak- 
er connection is easy to find, as you can 
usually follow the wires back to the 
speaker. Speaker connections are usu- 
ally keyed so that they attach only one 
way, but actually, there is no single 
right way for PC speaker connections.) 

You can now test the reset switch by at- 
taching it to the motherboard: Turn on 
the PC, and when the beeps begin, hit 
the reset switch. If the beeps stop ex- 
actly when you hit the reset switch, 
you'll know you correctly wired the re- 
set switch. 

Next, attach the turbo switch. It's the 
only connector with three wires on it. 
Most motherboards have only two pins 
for this function, but the turbo switch 
has three wires — quite confusing. Just 
plug two of the connector's holes over 
the pins (either the two to the left or the 
two to the right), and the turbo switch 
will work. 

What's the difference? Attached one 
way, the PC will be in turbo mode when 
the switch is in the in position and in non- 
turbo mode when the switch is in the out 
position. Attached the other way, it 
works in reverse. 

Now you can attach the turbo LED. 
You can find it because there will be on- 

ly two two-wire connectors — the hard 
disk LED and the turbo LED — and the 
hard disk LED will have a red wire and 
a black wire on it. Attach the turbo 
LED's connection to the motherboard, 
and examine the LED. If it doesn't light 
up, disconnect the connector, reverse 
it, and reattach it to the motherboard's 
turbo LED connection. You should 
then be able to click the turbo button 
and see the turbo LED change color. If 
this does not happen, however, don't 
panic just yet; some BIOS's won't allow 
the CPU speed to change until the sys- 
tem has booted. 

The keylock/power LED is the last con- 
nector. It usually has four or five wires 
on it, and it's usually keyed so that it 
will attach only one way. Try plugging 
it in and powering up the motherboard, 
and you should see the power LED on 
the case come right on. Once you've 
got that done, congratulations! You've 
done a professional installation job! □ 

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To get off the ground, shuttle over to 
your reseller and pick it up. 

) 1994 Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved. Microsoft is a rcgisrered trademark of Microsoft Corp. Flight Simulator is a trademark of Bruce A. Arrwick. 

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magine New York City with- 
out street signs, the Kalahari 
Desert without a map, hiero- 
glyphics without the Rosetta stone. 
Now you're beginning to see what it's 
like to journey the Internet, a world- 
wide network that's spreading like 
kudzu throughout cyberspace with no 
end in sight. According to reliable 
estimates, more than 20 million peo- 
ple worldwide tap into the Internet 
today. And that number is growing by 
150,000 users a month. 

What is the Internet? It's a collec- 
tion of thousands of interlinked com- 
puter networks that communicate with 
each other using a common computer 
language, or protocol. By accessing 
the Net, as it's popularly known, users 
can exchange E-mail, chat live, log on 
remotely to other computers, and 
download copies of files from other 
computers to their own machines. 

But the Internet is far more than 
that. It's also a virtual community — a 
living, breathing place where some of 
the sharpest minds on the planet 
swap notes and do battle over topics 
as varied as medieval English litera- 
ture, artificial intelligence, male-female 
relationships, and Star Trek trivia. 

John Perry Barlow, the lyricist for 
the Grateful Dead who cofounded the 
Electronic Frontier Foundation with 
Mitch Kapor of Lotus, described the 
Internet as "a state of minds." 

"It's almost certainly the most 
important thing to happen to informa- 
tion since Gutenberg let words out of 
the abbey," Barlow wrote in a fore- 
word to NetGuide, a newly published 
directory of cyberspace services and 
destinations. "I increasingly suspect it 
may alter what it is to be human more 
than any technological development 
since the capture of fire." 

Heady stuff, to be sure. But, for all 
its many marvels, the Internet is still 
not quite ready for prime time. Unlike 
commercial online services such as 
Prodigy, CompuServe, and America 
Online, the Internet has no 800 num- 
ber to call to get a starter kit, very little 
point-and-click navigational software, 
and no technical support staff to call 
with problems or questions. What's 
more, Internet computers communi- 
cate in UNIX terms, with which DOS 
and Mac users may have only a 
glancing familiarity. 

And if something goes wrong on 
the Internet — if the system crashes, a 
hacker pilfers your password, or a 
computer, in Helsinki neglects to for- 
ward your mail — there's nobody to call 
up and complain to. 

"The advantages of the Internet are 
that it's very widespread and very 
flexible," says Steve Souza, a home- 


based computer consultant with West- 
World Engineering in San Jose. "The 
disadvantages are that it's not a prod- 
uct, it's not a company, it's not a ser- 
vice. If it's broken, tough beans." 

If the Internet's infrastructure is 
quirky, you can thank — or blame — the 
U.S. government. Set up in 1969 as a 
way to link the U.S. Defense Depart- 
ment with university researchers work- 
ing on sensitive government projects, 
the Internet has no central computer 
that stores its gigabytes of informa- 
tion. That's because the government 
feared that all its valuable military data 
could be destroyed in the event of a 
nuclear attack if the data were housed 
in one place. As a result, the Internet 
became a decentralized network with 
data stored on each of the thousands 
of computers throughout it — even 
though government traffic is now only 
a small part of the data that flows 
back and forth. 

Consider Internet E-mail. When an 
Internet user in Chicago wants to send 
a message to an Internet user in 
Budapest, the Internet doesn't send 
that message directly from point A to 
point B. Though the Internet carries its 
data over phone lines like commercial 
services, the network has more in 
common with the post office than the 
phone company. Unlike the phone 
system, which wires every home and 
business into its network, the postal- 
like Internet takes your electronic let- 
ter, mixes it in with everybody else's 
mail, and shoots it off to another online 
post office, which sorts it again and 
sends it on until your mail finally reach- 
es its destination. Instead of nine-num- 
ber zip codes, the Internet uses E-mail 
addresses and protocols (or rules) that 
tell each computer along the route 
where to send your mail. 

Surprisingly, the whole process 
typically takes no longer than several 
minutes — and is so efficient that 
CompuServe, Prodigy, and the other 
commercial online services have infor- 
mally adopted the Internet as the mail 
delivery system of choice for users of 
the various services to communicate 
with one another. 

Even so, the Internet's decentral- 
ized structure can be frustrating and 
confusing for modem users accus- 
tomed to the relative ease of use that 
commercial online services offer. 
Unlike with CompuServe's CIM or 
WinCIM, for example, you can't click 
on a little traffic light that represents 
the "Go" command and type in the 
keyword, work, to visit the Working 
from Home Forum. Unlike with 
America Online, you can't click on an 
icon with two faces to zap you over to 
the part of the system where you can 

engage in live chat. On the Internet, 
there are thousands of discussion 
groups, known as mailing lists, that 
won't even let you in unless you sub- 
scribe — using the Internet address, of 

So why even attempt the Internet — 
especially when the commercial 
online services are so easy to use and 
offer the full range of news, sports, 
and weather plus hundreds of bulletin 
boards and access to Internet mail? 
There are many good reasons to 
access the Internet. 

• Price. Depending on how much 
time you spend online and what you 
like to do there, the Internet can be a 
lot cheaper than the commercial 
online services. Most dial-up Internet 
access providers offer unlimited 
Internet access for a flat fee of from 
$15.00 to $30.00 a month. While that's 
more than the $9.95 a month that 
America Online charges for access, 
you can stay online as long as you 
like; DELPHI Internet Services, the first 
with the most in terms of commerical 
Internet access, offers 20 hours of 
access per month for $20 ($1.80 an 
hour for access over 20 hours; anoth- 
er rate structure is also available). 
America Online charges $3.50 an 
hour after the first five "free" hours are 
up. And, unlike with CompuServe and 
Prodigy, there are no extra charges to 
access special-interest bulletin 
boards and other premium features. 

• Variety. Even though the com- 
mercial online services offer a wide 
range of special-interest bulletin 
boards on topics ranging from com- 
puters to pet care to food and wine, 
the Internet offers access to thou- 
sands of Usenet "newsgroups" (the 
equivalent of bulletin boards) and 
mailing lists on topics as esoteric as 
German TV cartoon characters and 
UFO sightings. And, if you don't find 
what you're looking for in an existing 
newsgroup or discussion group, you 
can start your own. Usenet news- 
groups about Star Trek, for example, 
include rec.arts.startrek.misc (which 
covers Star Trek in all its generations 
and media), rec. arts. startrek. current 
(Star Trek gossip, jokes, and produc- 
tion information), and rec. arts, (reviews of Star Trek 
books, episodes, and films). 

• People. Taken together, the five 
largest U.S. -based online services — 
Prodigy, CompuServe, America 
Online, GEnie, and DELPHI— have 
roughly 4 million subscribers, most of 
them in the United States. The 
Internet, by contrast, has 20 million 
users all over the world, from 
Tasmania to Milan. Also, the primary 
language of the commercial online 

services is English; on the Internet, 
people from all over the world chat 
live and exchange messages in 
dozens of different languages. 

• Accessibility. Though Compu- 
Serve and GEnie offer some direct- 
dial access overseas (primarily in 
Europe), Prodigy and America Online 
are available only by placing a very 
expensive international call. The 
Internet, by contrast, offers local dial- 
up access worldwide. 

• Databases. Arguably the world's 
largest library, the Internet lets you 
access the Library of Congress card 
catalog, the New York Public Library 
Online Catalog, and millions of pages 
of U.S. government data, all without 
paying a dime. The Internet's Wide 
Area Information Servers (WAIS) tool 
lets you search multiple databases at 
the same time, a help if you're not sure 
where to find what you're looking for. 

Things to Do, Places to Go 

The Internet offers a cornucopia of 
culture, both high and low. Here's a 
sampler of Internet destinations to get 
you started. 

Rome Reborn: The Vatican 
Library and Renaissance Cul- 
ture. An indefinite online exhibit of 
more than 200 of the Vatican library's 
most precious books, manuscripts, 
and maps. Includes images of each 
work and the text captions as dis- 
played at the 1993 exhibit held at the 
Library of Congress. Available via FTP 

Chaucer Discussion Group. 
An open forum for discussion of 
medieval English literature. Subscribe 

rec.arts.animation. Discussion 
about animation with a focus on car- 
toons. Available via Usenet. 

Want to bone up on the Internet? 
Here are some books to get you 

Dern, Daniel P. The Internet 
Guide for New Users. New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN 0-07- 

Fraase, Michael. The PC 
Internet Tour Guide: Cruising the 
Internet the Easy Way. Chapel Hill, 
NC: Ventana Press, 1994. ISBN 1- 

Fraase, Michael. The Windows 
Internet Tour Guide: Cruising the 
Internet the Easy Way. Chapel Hill, 
NC: Ventana Press, 1994. ISBN 1- 

alt. cult. movies. Covers favorite 
cult movies like The Rocky Horror 
Picture Show, Plan 9 from Outer 
Space, and Reefer Madness. Avail- 
able via Usenet. For fans 
of Howard Stern. Available via 

alt. elvis. king. Speculate about 
Elvis's whereabouts. Available via 

rec. arts. startrek. misc. Covers 
Star Trek in all its generations and 
media. Includes periodic postings of 
several lists: "Star Trek: The Next 
Generation," and "Deep Space 9" 
episode synopses and trivia; star- 
ships by type and episode; actors by 
episode; the Star Trek Comics 
Checklist; Star Trek books on tape. 
Also includes information on Internet 

sites with Star Trek GIFs and sound 
files. Available via Usenet. For those 
who can't forget the TV show "Twin 
Peaks." Available via Usenet. 

alt. folklore. computers. 
Stories and anecdotes about comput- 
ers. Available via Usenet. 

Internet Baseball Archive. 
Includes simulated-baseball software, 
major-league schedules, GIFs of team 
logos, playing rules, major- and 
minor-league stats, and ticket infor- 
mation. Available via FTP at eucalyp- 

rec. sport. footbaii. pro. Forum 
for discussing professional football. 
Available via Usenet. 

rec. pets. herp. Interested in 
snakes? If so, this forum is for you. 
Available via Usenet. 

*b/&/i &jp c/&/i 

Here is how to send E-mail over the 

1. Connect to your Internet access 
provider and log on to your account. 

2. At the prompt (%), type mail fol- 
lowed by the recipient's Internet 
address and press Enter. For exam- 
ple, to send me E-mail, type %mail 

3. When prompted for the subject of 
the message, type several words 
describing your message and press 
Enter. For example, you might type 
navigating the net. 

4. Type the body of your message. 

5. When you've finished composing 
your message, press Ctrl-D to send 
it. (If for some reason you wish to 
cancel your mail message, hit 
Control-C twice.) 

6. At the Cc: prompt, type the E-mail 
addresses of any other people to 
whom you want your message sent. 
If you don't want to send out any 
copies, press Enter. (Not all systems 
have the Cc: function.) 

7. After you've sent your message, 
the % or & prompt will appear on 
your screen. 

If you find an area that's of interest 
to you, you might want to subscribe 
to a mailing list in order to receive all 
communications about that particu- 
lar subject. 

Each Internet mailing list has a 
different E-mail address. Here's how 
to subscribe to net-happenings, a 
list that serves as a clearinghouse 
for new products, services, and 
activities of interest to the vast 

majority of the Internet community. 

1. Connect to your Internet access 
provider and log on to your account. 

2. At the prompt, type mail and press 

3. There's no need to fill in the sub- 
ject line because the subscription 
command is placed in the body of 
the message, so at the Subject: 
prompt just press Enter. 

4. In the body of the message, type 
subscribe net-happenings firstname 
lastname. For example, you might 
type subscribe net-happenings jane 

5. Make sure there are no other 
characters in the message, then hit 
Control-D to send it. You will be 
returned to the system prompt. 

6. After a short time, you will receive 
two messages. One message will 
confirm that you now subscribe to 
the list; the other one will contain 
introductory information. Once these 
messages arrive, type mail at your 
prompt and press Enter. To read the 
messages, press Enter at the mail 
prompt or type in the number corre- 
sponding to the message you want 
to read and press Enter. If you need 
help with commands at any point, 
type ? and then press Enter. When 
you are done, type q and press 
Enter to quit. 

To stop receiving messages from 
the mailing list, send a message to In the body 
of the message, type unsubscribe 
net-happenings firstname lastname. 



Is there a feature topic you'd like 

to see covered in COMPUTE? 

Let us know by calling 

(900) 285-5239 (sponsored 

by Pure Entertainment, 

505 South Beverly Drive, Suite 

977, Beverly Hills, California 

90212). The call will cost 95 

cents per minute, you must 

be 18 or older, and you must 

use a touch-tone phone. 

alt. cyberpunk. Covers virtual 
reality, the fiction of writers like William 
Gibson and Bruce Sterling, and the 
convergence of cyberpunk with main- 
stream culture. Available via Usenet. 

sci. virtual-worlds. Discuss all 
aspects of virtual reality. Subscribe to 

soc. singles. Men and women 
currently not involved in relationships 
talk to each other. Available via 

alt. conspiracy. jfk. Theories 
about the assassination of JFK. 
Available via Usenet. 

alt.politics.correct. Discussion 
about political correctness, particular- 
ly terminology issues and stereotypes. 
Available via Usenet. 

ADND-L. All aspects of Dungeons 

and Dragons and Advanced 
Dungeons and Dragons covered, 
including new spells, new monsters, 
and more. Subscribe to listserv- 

Source: Peter Ruttan, Albert 
Bayers, and Kelly Maloni. NetGuide. A 
Michael Wolff Book. New York: 
Random House, 1994. ISBN 0-679- 


The folks on the Internet can be unfor- 
giving of people who break their rules. 
The trouble is, unlike the commercial 
online services, the Internet has no 
central authority to cast its rules in 
stone. Break the rules, however, and 
punishment will be swift: Transgres- 
sors will almost certainly be flamed 

If you don't have free access to the 
Internet through a university or 
research institution, you can pay from 
$15 to $30 a month for what's known 
as a dial-up account from an Internet 
access provider. This lets you dial up 
the Internet just as you would a com- 
mercial online service or a bulletin 
board and gives you unlimited 
access to Internet features such as 
E-mail, Gopher, WAIS, World Wide 
Web, Telnet, FTP, and IRC. 

Down the road, however, you may 
find yourself (or your company) 
wanting a full Internet connection 
that can run multiple sessions at the 
same time, allowing you to, say, 
download a file while you're access- 
ing a Gopher site. When you access 
the Internet through a SLIP (Serial 
Line Interface Protocol) or a PPP 
(Point-to-Point Protocol), the modem 
on your computer or on your local 
area network connects to the Inter- 
net provider's host computer, which 
is connected directly to the Internet. 
A SLIP connection generally costs 
about $160 to $250 a month with a 
one-time installation fee of $1 ,500. 

Here is a partial list of Internet 
access providers (a more compre- 
hensive list can be obtained from 
Susan Estrada's Connecting to the 
Internet: An O'Reilly Buyer's Guide). 


UUNET Technologies 

Falls Church, VA 

(800) 488-6384 

(703) 204-8000 

U.S. and international 


Palo Alto, CA 


Northern and central California and 

western Nevada 


San Diego, CA 

(800) 876-2373 


U.S. and international 

Kirkland, WA 
(206) 820-6639 
Northwestern U.S. 

Global Enterprise Services 

Princeton, NJ 

(800) 358-4437 

(609) 897-7300 

U.S. and international 

Iowa Network Services 
Des Moines, IA 
(800) 546-6587 

Cambridge, MA 
Northeastern U.S. 


Bellevue, WA 

(206) 562-3000 

Canada and northwestern U.S. 


Herndon, VA 

(800) 827-7482 

(703) 709-0300 

U.S, and international 



Herndon, VA 


U.S. and international 

Austin, TX 

WinNET Mail and News 
Computer Witchcraft 
Louisville, KY 
(800) 589-5999 
(502) 589-6800 
U.S. and international 

The World 
Software Tool & Die 
Brookline, MA 
U.S. and international 


Explore the Internet! 

Five Hour Free Trial! 

Dial By Modem 1-800-365-4636, Press return until you get a prompt 
At Username, enter JOINDELPHI. At Password, Enter CPT47 

Offer applies for new members only. A valid credit card is required for immediate access 
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Attention Current Internet Users: See what DELPHI can offer you! Stock quotes. Grolier's Encyclopedia, 
newswires. and hundreds of other services are just a few keystrokes away. Telnet to and enter the 
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DELPHI is the only major online service 
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Use DELPHI'S Internet mail gateway to 
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people at universities, companies, and other 
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FTP or connect in real-time to other 
networks using Telnet. You can also meet 
people on the Internet. Internet Relay 
Chat lets you "talk" with people all over the 
world and Usenet News is the world's 
largest bulletin board with over 4500 topics! 

To help you find the information 
you want, you'll have access to powerful 
search utilities such as "Gopher," "Hytelnet" 
and "WAIS." If you aren't familiar with these 
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Over 600 local access numbers are 
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what you discover. 



Questions?Call 1-800-695-4005. 
Send e-mail to 
Circle Reader Service Number 161 

(verbally attacked). 

Here are some basic tips to help 
you duck the flamethrowers. 

• Don't type your public messages 
in all capital letters. On the Net, that 
means you're shouting (and it's con- 
sidered quite rude). 

• Avoid profanity and abusive lan- 

• Be brief and to the point. Don t 
waste bandwidth with a wordy dia- 

• Think before you write. Once 
you've cast your words upon the Net, 
you can't take them back. 

• Respond to a public posting only 
if you have something meaningful to 

• Don't plagiarize. If you're quoting 
from another source, give credit 
where credit is due. 

• Stay on -point. Don't stray from 
the newsgroup's or mailing list's stat- 
ed purpose. 

• Don't advertise or send junk mail. 
It's illegal on government-controlled 
portions of the Net, and even in those 
places where it is allowed, it will prob- 
ably annoy the very people you're try- 
ing to entice. 

Internet Tools and Features 

Here are the useful tools you'll find on 
the Internet for dealing with data. 

E-mail. The Internet makes it pos- 
sible for users to exchange electronic 
mail with other users around the world 
in addition to subscribers to commer- 
cial online services such as Compu- 
Serve, GEnie, America Online, DEL- 
PHI, and The WELL. In addition, you 
can subscribe to mailing lists that let 
you post and receive E-mail about a 
wide variety of topics. There's 
also the electronic journal (or E 
journal). E-journals are either 
distributed to a list of sub 
scribers as an E-mail text 
message or retained in 
a particular area for 

File Transfer 
used fea- 

ture of the Internet is its ability to 
transfer files from one Internet-con- 
nected computer to another. FTP 
allows Internet users to search for, list, 
and retrieve files; the Internet's Archie 
service indexes files from over 900 
FTP sites. 

Finger. The Internet's Finger com- 
mand lets you access identifying 
information (such as full name and 
postal address) about anyone with an 
Internet mailing address. 

Gopher. Gopher, a project of the 
University of Minnesota, is a menu-dri- 
ven service that lets users browse the 
Internet's resources, read text files, 
and retrieve files of all kinds. 

Internet addresses. Internet 
mail addresses consist of three parts: 
a computer name, a location, and a 
domain (or type of site) name. Here is 
a sample address:71333.1473~ Here, 71333. 
1473@ is a CompuServe ad 
dress and takes the place of 
the computer name. (If this 
weren't an address on 
commercial service, an 
actual computer' 
name would be list- 
ed.) The next part 
of the address 
CompuServe, is 
the location 

(another example would be AOL 
for America Online or UWA for 
University of Washington). The 
last part of the address, 
com, is the domain name; 
com stands for commer- 
cial (another example 
is edu for education 
or gov for govern- 

I nternet 
Relay Chat. 
known as 
I R C 
n e t 


Brings You 

a Virtual World 

Interactive Movie! 


"Lots of games claim to be pushing the 
envelope — Under a Killing Moon blows it to 

—William Trotter, PC Entertainment 

"Under a Killing Moon...the most 
elaborate graphic adventure to date. A 
ground breaking CD adventure!" 

— Joyce Worley, Electronic Games 

"Under a Killing Moon combines the best 

Lit«TvJ«l I Um^JJ 1 1 1 Jl 

| ffl ^—. creates an amazing interactive experience 

iEsia that's better than either of them. It 
literally pulls you into the screen." 

— Denny Atkin, Entertainment Editor, 
Compute Magazine 

Ihis category-creating Interactive Movie from ACCESS Software goes light 
years beyond any other product labeled "interactive." Under a Killing Moon 
takes you to the streets of post World War III San Francisco and casts you into 
the role of Tex Muiphy, Private Investigator, who first appeared in Mean Streets, 
then Martian Memorandum. Under a Killing Moon is a Virtual World full of 
people and places so richly detailed, you'll feel like you're actually there. 

Relay Chat is the Internet's world- 
wide, multilingual chat board — 
like CompuServe's CB Simu- 
lator and America Online's 
People Connection but 
bigger and more chaot- 
ic. IRC is divided into 
hundreds of cate- 
gories, where 
users talk live 
around the 
clock about 
from Rus- 
s i a n 

to true romance. Like the commercial 
services, IRC lets you go private to 
chat about things that you don't want 
the whole Net to know about. 

Telnet. Telnet, or remote log-on, 
enables a computer user in one loca- 
tion to use the Internet to tap into 
another computer somewhere else. 
Once the connection is made, the 
remote user can use that system as if 
that computer were part of his or her 
own network. Telnet can be used to 
access everything from bibliographic 
databases (primarily library catalogs) 
to computer bulletin boards and inter- 
active role-playing games. 

Usenet. Not officially part of the 
Internet, Usenet is a collection of mil- 
lions of E-mail messages organized 
by subject categories called news- 
groups. They are the Internet equiva- 
lent of the special-interest bulletin 
boards available on the commer- 
cial online services, though 
much more specialized. 
There are two kinds of 
newsgroups: official 
(voted in by a majority of 
Internet site adminis- 
trators) and alterna- 
tive. Official news- 
groups contain 
the prefix 
camp (for 

What do 
film stars 
Brian Keith, 
Margot Kidder, 
& Russell Means 
all have in 

At They all star in ACCESS Software's 
new CD \hn\\^UnderaKMngMMn! 

computer-related topics), news (for 
topics related to Usenet itself), rec (for 
recreation, hobbies, and the arts), sci 
(for science and research), soc (for 
society and culture), talk (for issues 
and debate), or misc. Alternative 
newsgroups, which start with the pre- 
fix alt, can be started by anyone. 
There are more than 2500 alt news- 

Wide Area Information Ser- 
vers (WAIS). A joint project of 
Thinking Machines, Apple Computer, 
Dow Jones, and KPMG Peat Marwick, 
WAIS is a powerful searching tool that 
lets users search over 300 Internet 
sources with a single keyword. 

Whois. Though there's no compre- 
hensive directory of Internet mail 
addresses, the Internet's Whois feature 
provides a limited directory of Internet 
users and a utility for searching it. 

Getting Online 

Right now, the biggest obstacle to 
exploring the Internet is that it is difficult 
to use. Dozens of software developers 
are pioneering Windows interfaces that 
offer point-and-click access to the 
Internet's E-mail, Gopher, WAIS, Telnet, 
FTP, and other features. And some of 
the books now coming on the market — 
such as Michael Fraase's PC Internet 
Tour Guide: Cruising the Internet the 
Easy Way — come with easy-to-use 
interfaces bundled on disks. 

What's the future of the Internet? 
Some experts predict that it will swell 
to 100 million users worldwide over 
the next five years, with people log- 
ging on from their television sets, their 
screen phones, and their personal 
digital assistants. Others speculate 
that the Internet will be paved over 
by corporate communications 
giants eager to build an infor- 
mation superhighway. 

But whatever the future 
may hold for the network 
of networks that is 
called the Internet, 
the virtual communi- 
ty that it has 
spawned will 
almost certain- 
ly live on — 
and pros- 
per. □ 

2 CD's for 

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obinson's Requiem is a survival/adventure simulation 
t in a startling realistic virtual environment the like of 
hich hasnevei- been seen before. 

The Scenario 

Imprisoned on an alien planet your aim is to escape. If 
you have to amputate one of your own limbs to stay alive, 
then that's what you must do. Features more than 100 
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A spectacular world mapped in 3D, computed and .- 
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©1994 Silmanls - All rights reserved. Robinson's Requiem is a trademark of Societe Silmarils Distributed by ReadySoft Incorporated. 




Having a computer in your 
home — as 25 million of us 
do— is a whole different 
adventure from using a PC 
in your workplace. For one 
thing, there's your family to 
worry about. You'll need to 
work out ways to share 
computer time among them, 
teach them how to use it, 
and protect it from them. 
(Have you ever seen a key- 
board gummed up by a 
spilled root beer float? Pray 
you never do.) 

Whole new worlds of 
software open up to you: 
games, educational pro- 
grams, edutainment pro- 
grams, reference works, 
home productivity pro- 
grams, personal finance 
managers, religious soft- 
ware, and scores of won- 
derful things for your hob- 
bies and other away-from- 
the-workplace interests. 
(There are thriving markets 
for scout troop manage- 
ment software and bowling 
league secretaries' pro- 
grams, for example.) You'll 
also want to run your busi- 
ness software at home. 
After all, why learn a whole 
new word processor when 
you're already proficient 
with WordPerfect or 
Microsoft Word? 

Buy a modem and sign 
up for America Online, 
CompuServe, or Prodigy, 
and a raft of new concerns 
will hit. Online time is billed 
by the minute, and even the 
least expensive services 
can run up appallingly large 
bills when teenagers and 
other susceptible persons 
(like you and me) get 
hooked on the network 
habit. And your phone's 
always busy — an irritating 
rarity in this era of call wait- 
ing service. 

Other interesting prob- 






HOME 58 




COMPUTE'S Getting Started with Home Computing 
was written by Richard O. Mann. 

lems await you. You're 
going to run out of money 
for software in no time, 
and — depending on how 
long it takes you to run out 
of money — you're likely to 
find your hard drive filling 
up faster than you ever 
imagined it would. Your kids 
are likely to discover the 
neighborhood shareware 
grapevine or start down- 
loading shareware pro- 
grams from local bulletin 
board services. When this 
happens, wave bye-bye to 

your hard drive space and 
gear up for virus detection 
and prevention. 

While I've warned of 
impending problems, 
they're more fun than irrita- 
tion (except for the part 
about running out of 
money). Integrating a PC 
into your home and family is 
a grand adventure, an 
opportunity to learn for 

In the articles that follow, 
I'll offer assistance with 
these problems— make that 

growth opportunities. I'll dis- 
cuss some basic guidelines 
for choosing the right com- 
puter (covered more thor- 
oughly in COMPUTE'S 
Getting Started with Buying 
a New PC in our February 
1994 issue) and help you 
with strategies for finding 
software that does the job 
without totally draining your 
financial resources. I'll dis- 
cuss how to set up the com- 
puter for effective family 
use — insulating the uninitiat- 
ed from unpleasant DOS 
matters, for instance. I'll 
offer some tips on peaceful 
family coexistence with the 
PC, as well as maintaining 
and protecting your com- 
puter. When you're finished 
here, you'll have some use- 
ful ideas for living with a 
home PC. 

Welcome to a journey of 
discovery and enlighten- 
ment (with minor side trips 
into frustration and brushes 
with poverty). Welcome to 
the world of the home PC. 


Buying a computer for the 
home can be a daunting 
assignment, especially if it's 
your first venture into this 
fascinating area of personal 
technology. You're facing a 
jungle of odd jargon, even 
more choices of machines 
and options than breakfast 
cereals in the supermarket, 
and probably conflicting 
advice from those around 
you. It's so complicated that 
I can't begin to tell you 
everything you'll need to 
know in the short confines 
of these articles. This time 
around, I'll concentrate on 
the most frequently asked 
questions and considera- 
tions involved in buying 
computers specifically for 
the home, which is certainly 
an art unto itself. 




How Much Should You 

The first step in the process 
is to determine how much 
you can spend for this new 
addition to your home. You 
can buy excellent if some- 
what Spartan computers for 
about $1,000, or you can 
spend as much as $4,000 if 
you feel you need the latest 
model, the fastest chip, and 
all the possible options. 
(Writing about prices is 
always scary; the PC mar- 
ket changes so fast that 
there's no telling what will 
happen in the two months it 
takes to get these words 
into print — except that 
prices will go down.) 

The best advice I can 
give is to buy as much com- 
puter as you can reason- 
ably afford. It often seems 
that all the hot new software 
products require state-of- 
the-art equipment. If you 
buy slightly out-of-date 
hardware today, by this 
time next year, you'll find 
yourself unable to run many 
of the great new programs 
that I'll be writing about 
here. In other words, don't 
buy a 386SX computer 
unless you're sure you want 
to run only last year's soft- 
ware, and you won't be 
catching upgrade fever. 

And if possible, consider 
getting a chip-upgradable 
computer in case the 
upgrade pressure becomes 

Should You Get 

Yes. That one was easy. 
Why get multimedia? 
Without it, you'll be on the 
outside looking in. You'll be 
unable to use much of the 
best of the new software. 
Multimedia software today 
is pretty spectacular, but I 
have the feeling that we 
haven't seen anything yet. 
Don't miss out. 

A multimedia PC is your best choice for a home computer. 

Another good reason to 
include the CD-ROM drive 
and sound board as part of 
your computer purchase is 
that it's much easier that 
way. Until the planned Plug 
and Play standards become 
reality — at least a year, 
probably longer — installing 
a CD-ROM drive and sound 
board in an existing com- 
puter can be an exercise in 
frustration. Even if the 
thought of taking screwdriv- 
er in hand to open the com- 
puter case doesn't give you 
a mild case of the- shakes, 
you're likely to have prob- 
lems. IRQs conflict, DMA 
channels get crossed, tiny 
jumpers must be moved, 
and DIP switches must be 

Let your dealer worry 
about all that — buy the 
computer with everything 
installed and working. 
Happily, it's often less 
expensive to buy the multi- 
media kit built in. (But be 

sure that you know which 
components you're getting 
and that they're the ones 
you want. Many built-ins are 
old technology.) 

How Important Is It to 
Match Your School's 

Often, one of the main rea- 
sons you're buying a home 
computer is to be sure your 
children aren't left behind in 
the virtual dust on the infor- 
mation superhighway. How 
important is it to have the 
same kind of computer the 
kids use at school? 

Opinions vary. Kids are 
generally versatile crea- 
tures, able to switch mental 
gears as they move from 
old Apple ll's still found in 
some schools to Amigas, 
Macintoshes, and IBM com- 
patibles. They consider the 
varieties of computers to be 
part of the landscape and 
aren't fazed by the need to 
know how to use different 

varieties of tools. Get the 
computer that you know 
how to use; the kids will 
adjust without difficulty. 
That's my advice. Others 
may advise differently. 

(Because this is a PC 
magazine, I'll assume that — 
after careful considera- 
tion — you've decided on an 
IBM compatible for your 

Can't Kids Get Along 
with a Smaller, Slower 

Yes, but they won't like it. 
Kids will want the latest 
games, which are notorious 
for stretching your hardware 
to its limits. Current games 
often require absolutely the 
fastest, most RAM-rich 
hardware you can buy to 
play at even a decent 
speed. If that doesn't bother 
you ("My kids are going to 
use the computer only for 
educational programs," you 
say), be aware that refer- 
ence titles and other educa- 
tional programs are now on 
CD-ROM with fancy full- 
motion video clips that play 
slowly even on today's 
fastest computers. 

Even if the computer is 
only for the kids, get at least 
a 486SX-25 with 4MB of 
RAM and a 120MB hard 
drive. That's the bare mini- 
mum. Even for a second 
machine, I wouldn't buy 
anything less than a 486DX- 
33 with 4MB of RAM and a 
200MB hard drive. If I antic- 
ipated heavy Windows use 
(and I do), I'd get 8MB of 
RAM if it were in any way 
possible. Those are the 

Would You Be Better 
Off with Two 

Many families are finding it 
necessary to have two com- 
puters. Usually, this hap- 
pens as a longtime comput- 



er owner buys a newer, 
more modern computer. The 
old one is then relegated to 
the kids. (But Dad and Mom 
often find themselves doing 
their word processing on the 
old machine because the 
kids need the CD- 
ROM-equipped computer to 
do their schoolwork or play 
their games.) 

At the Mann Mansion, it's 
not unusual for our family of 
four to be happily working 
away on four separate com- 
puters. (We own two and 
usually have several sys- 
tems in for review.) Having 
at least two is an absolute 
necessity around here. 

If you think you may need 
two computers for your fami- 
ly, consider making one of 
them a laptop computer. 
Today's laptops (primarily 
notebooks and subnote- 
books) are surprisingly 
capable computers at rela- 
tively affordable prices. The 
minimum configuration men- 
tioned above is fairly stan- 
dard for notebook comput- 
ers. (Give it another year or 
two, and you may even be 
able to afford a color-screen 
notebook computer.) 

Where Should You Buy 
Your Computer? 

Deciding where to buy your 
computer can be difficult. 
As I've advised dozens of 
friends on their home com- 
puter purchases, I've found 
that two factors seem to 
take a controlling role in the 
decision: price and avail- 
able financing. 

Local furniture stores do 
a brisk business in comput- 
ers because they offer easy 
credit and many buyers 
already have accounts 
there. Little or no money 
down, immediate delivery, 
and easy payments carry a 
lot of weight. 

Others who can afford to 
buy outright or charge the 

Add multimedia to your PC with a multimedia upgrade kit. 

Create rainy-day projects with Bwderbund's Kid Cuts. 

computer to a credit card 
usually go for the lowest 
price from a nationally 
known mail-order vendor 
(often Gateway 2000). 
Others search the local 
dealers for the best price 
and features, looking for- 
ward to having locally avail- 
able service and advice— 
an excellent idea. The ware- 
house stores are also doing 
a brisk business in low- 
priced PCs. 

Buying a computer for 
your home can be a lot of 
fun. Involve the family, after 
explaining the basic con- 
straints, and have fun shar- 
ing the anticipation of hav- 
ing one of these tool-and- 

entertainment-device com- 
binations in your home. 


Not everyone in the family 
will have the same ability to 
control the computer. You, 
as the master of the com- 
puter, may want to assist 
family members by making 
it easy for them to get to the 
programs they want to run. 
You may also want to limit 
the things they can do. A 
well-meaning child set 
loose in the Windows 
Program Manager can 
wreak unlimited havoc on 

your carefully designed lay- 
out, for instance. 

There are many tools to 
help you with this. If your 
concern is merely to make it 
easy for everyone to run the 
programs on your hard 
drive, you can write brief 
batch files to run the pro- 
grams. Add a master batch 
file that lists the names of 
the other batch files, and 
you have a homemade 
menu system. It doesn't 
limit users from doing what- 
ever they may want to do, 
but it does make it easy to 
run your programs. 

To limit access only to 
programs that you've 
specifically set up for each 
family member, you need a 
menu program. In the days 
before Windows hit it big, 
menu programs were big 
business. Things have got- 
ten lean for these compa- 
nies now, but they persist, 
and first-class menu pro- 
grams are still available. PC 
Dynamics' MenuWorks 
Advanced 2.0 (the one I 
use), is an extremely easy- 
to-use yet high-powered 
program. It offers pass- 
words and security levels, 
logs all programs as they're 
run, and has a full-featured 
disk and file manager built 
in. You can limit any user's 
ability to shell out to DOS, 
thus effectively preventing 
him or her from installing 
new programs, monkeying 
around with your directory 
structure, erasing files, and 
so on. Fifth Generation 
Systems' Direct Access 
Menu offers similar features. 

But what about Windows? 
The icon-filled Program 
Manager screen is designed 
to be the menu— you just 
double-click on any pro- 
gram's icon to run it. The 
problem with this is security. 
There isn't any. Anyone can 
run programs from icons, as 
well as add icons, delete 




icons, drag them around the 
desktop, and create all kinds 
of disarray. And anyone can 
even change your drivers, 
monkey with the WIN. INI 
files, and totally destroy your 
ability to run Windows. As if 
that weren't bad enough, 
clicking on the DOS icon 
gives a person access to the 
DOS programs. 

There is a way to limit 
access while still running 
Windows: Fifth Generation 
Systems' Direct Access 
Menu for Windows, which 
offers the same features as 
the DOS menu program. It 
adds the ability to nest your 
menus (which you can't do 
with the Windows Program 
Manager), but it can put 
only a dozen or so pro- 
grams on a single screen's 
menu. If the folks who'll be 
using your computer's 
Windows programs are well 
behaved, you probably 
don't need this extra layer of 
menu protection. If they're 
likely to be a little wild, how- 
ever, you may want to main- 
tain control with Direct 
Access Menu for Windows. 



Having a computer at home 
opens a new world of won- 
derful software to you, pro- 
grams your employer would 
never- allow you to put on 
the computers at work. 
Your biggest problems will 
be picking from the wealth 
of interesting programs, 
finding a way to pay for 
everything you'd like to 
buy, and fitting it all onto 
your hard drive after you 
bring it home. I can't help 
you with the running-out-of- 
money problem, but I can 
give you a quick overview 
of the kinds of software that 
are available and pass 
along some advice. 


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The Year of the Home 

There's a lot of excitement 
for home computing among 
the giant software develop- 
ers. Both Microsoft and 
WordPerfect have estab- 
lished major product lines 
with scores of products, 
heavy advertising support, 
and hopes of getting their 
products into most of the 
homes in the country. After 
all, with over 25 million 
households (27 percent of 
all homes) owning comput- 
ers and 40 percent more 
planning a computer pur- 
chase, there's a multibillion- 
dollar market there waiting 
to be tapped. 

Maybe all this attention 
will make this the year of the 
home computer. 

A Basic Home 
Software Portfolio 

You'll need a few basic pro- 
grams as the core of your 
home computer's repertoire. 
In today's market, much of 
what you need will come 
bundled with the computer. 
You'll have a hard time, for 
example, buying a new 

computer without Windows 
already installed along with 
DOS. Beyond that, software 
bundles will differ. 

A works program is often 
included in computers 
aimed for home use. Works 
programs, such as 
Microsoft Works, Claris- 
Works, and WordPerfect 
Works (also referred to as 
integrated programs), com- 
bine a basic word proces- 
sor, spreadsheet, database, 
communications program, 
and often a graphics pro- 
gram into a single package. 
You can do most of the 
work a typical home needs 
(homework, correspon- 
dence, light household data 
tracking) quite well with 
these programs. If you 
didn't get a works program 
with your computer, one of 
them would be an excellent 
choice to give you a lot of 
power for your money, 
across the spectrum of 
basic computer tools. (On 
the other hand, many of us 
need our word processors 
and spreadsheets, for 
instance, to match up with 
what we use at work. Be 

sure to explore the licensing 
of these programs; many 
companies have agree- 
ments with the software 
companies allowing em- 
ployees to legally make 
copies for use at home.) 

Beyond that, a basic 
portfolio of software might 
also include home produc- 
tivity software, games, 
school or educational pro- 
grams, work software 
brought home, hobby-relat- 
ed programs, home busi- 
ness applications, and 
communications software — 
in order from most to least 
frequently used, according 
to a recent study. Let's run 
through a brief overview of 
the categories we haven't 
already covered. 

Productivity Software 

Aside from the works pro- 
grams, you'll find copies of 
several standard sorts of 
programs on most home 
computers. A few programs 
have been around since the 
beginning of the DOS era, 
continually upgraded and 
as common on home com- 
puters as Cheerios or 
Kleenex are in our homes. 
Take Power Up Software's 
excellent Calendar Creator 
Plus, for example. We've all 
seen those omnipresent 
monthly calendars created 
by this program — they 
come with PTA bulletins 
and church newsletters and 
are on countless company 
bulletin boards. The pro- 
gram is currently available 
in both DOS and Windows 

Another popular pro- 
gram is Broderbund's Print 
Shop Deluxe. The company 
has sold over 6 million Print 
Shop products since its 
introduction years ago. Print 
Shop makes signs, cards, 
and banners, and its vari- 
ous companion products 
add many additional graph- 

US* 1 

In 1944, This fas The Only 
Heavy Metal Touring Europe. 

American M4 Shermans. Tigers of the Third 
Reich. These were the tanks that rocked 
Europe from D-Day to the fall of Berlin in 
World War II. The same armored juggernauts 
that you'll command in the explosive new 
game Across the Rhine from MicroProse. 




Jump into history's most famous tanks and 
experience the fierce combat and tough deci- 
sions that gripped World War II tank com- 
manders. Take command of U.S. or German 
forces. Control single tanks or entire Compa- 
nies. And blast your way through enemy units 
across the war-torn landscape of Europe. 

Across the Rhine from MicroProse. And you 
thought heavy metal started in the 70's. 


Circle Reader Service Number 248 
L- '•.'■ 



ics and fancy features, such 
as text art. Most of us are 
familiar with the old dot- 
matrix printer version; 
today's Windows version 
prints first-class color 
graphics, laser-quality 
images, and other high- 
quality graphics. 

Several million copies of 
Intuit's outstanding personal 
finance program, Quicken, 
grace home computers. 
With it or other programs 
like it, you can control your 
checkbook, bank cards, 
and total financial situation. 
Quicken leads that market 
because of its single-mind- 
ed pursuit of ease of use 
throughout the program. 

Productivity titles run the 
gamut, from aardvark infor- 
mation (The Software 
Toolworks' Animals) to 
zymurgy (The Random 
House Unabridged 

Dictionary). You'll find draw- 
ing programs for creating 
graphics (Micrografx's 
Windows Draw), desktop 
publishing (Microsoft 
Publisher is the current 
bestseller), tax preparation 
packages (Meca's TaxCut 
for Windows or for DOS), 
home legal helps (Parsons 
Technology's It's Legal), 
address books (Power Up's 
Address Book Plus), lan- 
guage-teaching and trans- 
lation programs (Road 
Scholar's Spanish Scholar 
for Windows), cookbooks 
(Arion Software's 

Ma'sterCook II), gardening 
programs (Voudette's 
FLOWERscape), home 
building and remodeling 
design (Braderbund's 3D 
Home Architect), genealogy 
programs (Banner Blue's 
Family Tree Maker for 
Windows), and, of course, 
the traditional items such as 
word processors, spread- 
sheets, and databases of all 
types and descriptions. The 
list goes on and on. 


Multimedia Encyclopedia 

Bring an encyclopedia into your home with Microsoft Encarta. 


Personal productivity pro- 
grams include the general 
category of utility programs, 
which are both popular and 
necessary. For those with 
hard drives that are getting 
crowded, Stac Electronics' 
Stacker 4.0 can stuff up to 
twice as much data as nor- 
mal onto your drive through 
a process called disk com- 

In addition, you : ll want a 
virus checker, though you 
can get an adequate one 
with DOS 6.21. LapLink V 
from Traveling Software 
comes with a cable that 
allows you to quickly move 
data between two comput- 
ers — used most frequently 
with laptops, but handy 
whenever you want to trans- 
fer large quantities of data 

General utility packages 

are perennial bestsellers. 
Symantec's Norton Utilities 
8.0, Central Point Software's 
PC Tools 2.0 for Windows, 
and PC Tools Pro 9.0 for 
DOS combine nearly every 
useful utility known to man 
into a single package. They 
provide excellent tools for 
diagnosing hardware prob- 
lems, finding and solving 
hardware and software sys- 
tem conflicts, recovering 
from and preventing system 
crashes, and recovering 
lost or damaged files. You'll 
want one of these on hand 
at all times. 

Windows users may 
want to investigate 
Symantec's Norton Desktop 
for Windows 3.0, a utility 
that improves on and 
expands the basic Windows 
Program Manager, as well 
as adding other utility func- 
tions. Hewlett-Packard's 

Dashboard provides a no- 
nonsense, streamlined 
Windows interface. 

Windows users will also 
want a screen saver. These 
wonderfully entertaining 
programs put changing 
images on your PC's screen 
when you haven't been 
working at the computer for 
a set time— ostensibly to 
prevent image burn-in. 
They've become incredibly 
popular over the last two 
years, spawning dozens of 
wonderful packages. 

Of note is Berkeley 
Systems' fine After Dark 
series, which includes the 
famous flying toasters, a 
separate set of Star Trek 
screens with sound, and 
animated Disney scenes. 

Second Nature Software 
sells an inexpensive series 
of 31 fine art sets, ranging 
from breathtaking photos of 
mountain splendor to clas- 
sic aircraft to Monet and 
Renoir paintings. Each disk 
contains 22 images. A 
share of the profits is 
donated to environmental 

Go ahead and get a 
wildly fun screen saver. 
Chances are the boss won't 
appreciate Disney or Star 
Trek scenes at work, so let 
your spirit of fun run free at 

Windows users will also 
want to explore TrueType 
fonts. Almost any Windows 
program can access any 
TrueType font, printing it in 
scalable sizes on virtually 
any printer. Swfte 
International offers 100 
fonts in each of its 
Typecase I, II, and III pack- 
ages, along with a font 
manager that helps keep 
the Windows overhead 
associated with these fonts 
under control. Ares 
Software's Font Chameleon 
and Altsys's Font-o-matic let 
you create your own fonts 



by altering or combining 
existing ones. Font-o-matic 
offers wacky options such 
as Swiss cheese, cactus, 
and cow spot effects. 

Reference Titles 

Falling under both the per- 
sonal productivity and the 
school and educational cat- 
egories are computerized 
reference programs. 
Nowadays, most of these 
great programs come on 
CD-ROMs, where vast 
amounts of storage allow 
freedom to include massive 
amounts of data. The three 
major encyclopedias- 
Microsoft Encarta, Grolier's 
Multimedia Encyclopedia, 
and Compton's Interactive 
Encyclopedia — are good 
examples. All include sound 
recordings, full-motion 
video clips, and thousands 
of color photos. 

Of particular note in this 
category are Random 
House's Random House 
Unabridged Dictionary. 
Second Edition (the first 
American unabridged dic- 
tionary in decades), 
DeLorme Mapping's Street 
Atlas USA 2.0 (street maps 
of the entire country) and 
Global Explorer (detailed 
maps of the entire planet, 
though not quite down to 
street level), and Microsoft 
Cinemania '94 (a database 
of thousands of movies 
including sound and video 
clips and thousands of still 


I'm not going to be able to 
tell you much about 
games — there are just too 
many. Even listing the cate- 
gories would take a full arti- 
cle. Go into any software 
store and scan the 
shelves — you'll see four or 
five racks of productivity 
software, lots of computer 
books, and the rest of the 

Explore the U.S. from your kitchen with Street Atlas USA 2.0. 

store full of games. 

Parents, a few cautions 
are in order. Computer 
games run the gamut from 
innocent Mickey Mouse 
games that teach reading all 
the way to gory, violent, and 
(to some) disgusting games 
with little apparent redeem- 
ing social value. Most kids 
go directly to the least desir- 
able programs, so you'll 
need to exercise some 
parental discretion here. 

If you have gentle sensi- 
bilities, don't let the flood of 
fighting, shooting, killing 
games turn you against the 
whole category. Literally 
hundreds of intriguing puz- 
zle games, card games, 
and other unclassifiable but 
delightful games are aimed 
straight at us mature folks 
who like a little relaxation 
now and again. My current 
favorite is Access 
Software's flagship game, 
Links 386 Pro, which pro- 
vides gorgeous photorealist 
golf courses (Pebble 
Beach, Firestone, and so 
on) to test your talents. 

School and Educational 

Reference titles come into 
play here, as do many 
games designed to educate 

children on the sly. MECC's 
SuperMunchers games are 
always popular with the kids 
and are in most schools. 
You can count on Davidson 
& Associates' line of games, 
including its steady best- 
seller, Math Blaster: In 
Search of Spot, to be fasci- 
nating to the kids. Davidson 
also provides Your Personal 
Trainer for the SAT for 
teenagers preparing for col- 
lege entrance exams. And 
Davidson's Cruncher is, of 
all things, a powerful 
Windows spreadsheet for 
kids, which should open 
many small-fry eyes to the 
logic and patterns of work- 
ing with numbers. 

Broderbund's series of 
exploration programs, in- 
cluding The Playhouse and 
The Backyard, provides 
hours of fascination to 
preschoolers. The compa- 
ny's fabulously successful 
Carmen Sandiego series of 
educational games has even 
spawned its own television 
series. The latest incarnation 
is Where in Space Is 
Carmen Sandiego?. 

Games from The 
Learning Company provide 
playful entertainment, subtly 
delivering educational val- 

ues. The company's well- 
known Reader Rabbit and 
Math Rabbit games are now 
available in Windows ver- 
sions, too. 


If you bowl, help with a 
scout troop, garden, cook, 
write poetry, do genealogy, 
participate in any of a hun- 
dred hobbies, or collect 
coins, stamps, or videos, 
there's software available to 
help you be more effective 
in pursuing your interests. 
Unfortunately, you won't 
always find these programs 
in the software store or 
advertised by the major 
mail-order houses. Check 
your specialty magazines 
and club publications, and 
talk to your fellow hobby- 
ists—you'll find something 
useful for sure. 


Using the computer and a 
modem to communicate 
electronically over the phone 
lines is great fun. The major 
online services provide a 
rich source of information, 
computer assistance, news, 
and other services, as well 
as making up an electronic 
community of friends. 

You'll need software for 
this. Some of the online ser- 
vices provide their own soft- 
ware (Prodigy and America 
Online, for instance); others 
work through your standard 
modem programs. Data- 
Storm Technology's Pro- 
comm Plus is the champion 
in this arena; it's the easiest 
to use of any of the mainline 
programs. The Windows 
version is also excellent. 


There's no way I can do 
more than give you a quick 
survey of the most popular 
software that's available. 
There's so much out there 
that you'll never get to see 




everything that interests 
you, but look on the bright 
side — you'll never be bored. 


Bringing a personal com- 
puter into your home cre- 
ates a whole raft of interest- 
ing new problems and 
opportunities. You'll want to 
encourage the whole family 
to use it and become com- 
puter-literate, but then you 
have to deal with occasion- 
al logjams when everyone 
needs the computer at 
once. You want the kids to 
enjoy using it, but you don't 
want them to become so 
enthralled that they aban- 
don everything else. Kids 
want to try every new 
shareware game they find, 
but you want to keep virus- 
es off the system. It's a real 
balancing act. Here are a 
few dos and don'ts to help 
you through the problems 
of family life with a new 

DO make family computer 
rules. Contention over who 
gets to use the computer is 
best handled by deciding 
ahead of time what kinds of 
things take priority. In the 
Steve and Susan Tufts fami- 
ly of Burley, Idaho, the rules 
say that homework is the 
number one priority. Susan 
had to finish writing her 
uncle's obituary at Steve's 
office, because 16-year-old 
Mark needed the computer 
for homework. They follow 
the rules. 

In the Wayne and Jeanie 
Wood family of Salt Lake 
City, a more primitive sys- 
tem is in force. Wayne jokes 
that he's at the top of the 
food chain, so when he 
needs the computer, he 
gets it. When the youngest 
daughter can convince a 
larger family member (Dad 




Hole: 18 Par: 4 Shots: 

Bell to Pin: 40 FT. __ 

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• Address 

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Play golf in your living room with Links 386 Pro from Access. 

is the most effective) that 
she needs the computer, 
the pair of them can put the 
figurative bite on a lower- 
order family member. 

Whatever system you 
devise, having priorities set 
out from the start can pre- 
vent a lot of quibbling and 
hard feelings. Other effec- 
tive methods of sharing 
computer time are sign-up 
sheets for scheduling the 
computer, daily allocations 
of time, and the use of pre- 
requisites, such as no com- 
puter games until homework 
is completely done. Involve 
the family in setting the 
rules, and you'll get much 
better voluntary compliance. 

DO find the right place in 
your house for the comput- 
er. The computer needs to 
be in a cool, dry place out of 
direct sunlight. Avoid areas 
with a lot of dust or other air- 
borne particles and stay out 
of heavy traffic patterns. On 
the other hand, recognize 
that it's possible that a fami- 
ly member may spend long 
hours at the computer. If the 
system is tucked away in 
the far corner of the base- 
ment, that person may soon 
feel estranged from the fam- 

ily while computing. 

You'll need to balance 
opposing factors here. You 
want the computer near 
centers of family activity to 
keep the user feeling like 
part of the family, to allow 
parental monitoring of com- 
puter use and possible 
squabbling over whose turn 
it is, and to allow ready 
access at all hours of the 
day. On the other hand, you 
want it isolated from the 
family to allow a quiet, 
thoughtful environment for 
working and studying; to 
conceal the clutter that 
often accumulates around 
the computer; and to pro- 
tect you from the raucous 
noise that many computer 
games generate. 

I spend so much time 
writing that my family voted 
to bring the computer up 
from the basement so they 
could see me occasionally. 

DO teach everyone in the 
family to use the computer. 
Teach your kids (or have 
them teach you) the basics 
of computer use. If there 
are reluctant family mem- 
bers, find a way to draw 
them into computer use, 
perhaps by getting a pro- 

gram that helps with some 
strong interest. Take class- 
es, read computer books, 
and, of course, read COM- 
PUTE magazine. 

DO take steps to safeguard 
your physical health relating 
to the computer. Carpal tun- 
nel syndrome comes from 
long, frequent keyboard 
use. A simple wrist-rest pad 
in front of the keyboard can 
help significantly. Get a 
good, comfortable chair and 
provide good lighting, 
angled to avoid reflection off 
the computer screen. Teach 
the family to take frequent 
breaks from the computer 
and exercise their eyes. 

DON'T ignore the dangers 
of computer viruses. Kids 
have a penchant for trading 
shareware games and other 
programs through the 
neighborhood, each com- 
ing into your computer from 
a disk made on another 
computer. Computer virus- 
es (programs designed to 
harm your computer) are 
spread in exactly this way. 
Establish rules and teach 
the kids how to run the 
antivirus program on every 
disk before running disk- 
based programs. 

DON'T lose your work or 
data because you failed to 
make backups. Making 
backup copies of the pro- 
grams and data on your 
hard drive requires seem- 
ingly superhuman effort. It 
must — why else would so 
many of us fail to do it? As 
reliable as hard drives are, 
they all fail eventually. When 
yours no longer responds to 
you, will you lose important 
work and information 
because you were too lazy 
to make backups? Buy a 
good backup program and 
use it. Consider a tape 
backup system if you have 






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lots of information that you 
can't afford to lose. 

DON'T let modem use get 
out of hand. You can con- 
nect to local bulletin board 
services (BBSs) and nation- 
al online network services 
(such as America Online, 
CompuServe, GEnie, and 
Prodigy) through your com- 
puter and a modem. The 
information, services, 
games, and camaraderie 
available there are both fun 
and useful. These services 
bill by the minute. They're 
quite reasonable for light 
use, but if a teenager, for 
instance, gets hooked on 
them, astronomical bills can 
result. Several divorces are 
on record caused by adults 
who grew too dependent on 
BBS contact. By all means, 
use these marvelous ser- 
vices, but stay in control. 

DON'T fail to plan for 
replacing the computer 
someday. In three to five 
years, you're going to need 
a new computer. Start plan- 
ning for it now. You might 
need it sooner than that; if 
your family takes to the 
computer like many do, a 
second computer may be 

A little self-education, 
planning, and family disci- 
pline can make welcoming 
this new little intruder into 
your home a painless expe- 
rience, just as failing to plan 
can result in all sorts of 
unpleasant little problems. 
Think things through and 
make family rules, and your 
computer will be a success- 
ful addition to your home. 


Your home computer repre- 
sents a substantial invest- 
ment of more than just 


Teach your kids math with Math Blaster: In Search of Spot. 

money. It takes a lot of time 
and work to set it up, load 
programs, create data, and 
create useful information 
from that data. It's also well 
worth a little of your time 
and effort to keep your com- 
puter happy and healthy. 

Physical Safeguards 

First, a simple family rule 
that will save you a lot of 
grief: absolutely no food or 
drink at the computer. 
Crumbs, drops of liquid, 
and inadvertent bits of this 
and that can get into your 
keyboard and computer 
and wreak havoc. Even 
worse is the danger of a 
spill— imagine the sizzling 
light show that you'd get 
from spilling a mug of pop 
or coffee into the guts of 
your computer. 

Dust and other airborne 
contaminants (such as cig- 
arette smoke) are your com- 
puter's biggest enemies. It 
may take a while, but these 
little particles will find their 
way into your computer's 
hard drive and floppy dri- 
ves, into the guts of your 
printer, and into other 
places they shouldn't be. 
Minimize exposure to these 
problem-causing materials 
as much as possible. In 
particularly dusty or drafty 

environments, you may 
want to consider a dust 
cover to put over the com- 
puter when it's not in use. 

Power Problems 

Protect your computer from 
injury that comes in through 
the power lines. I've seen 
the insides of computers 
and monitors burned out by 
momentary power surges. 
Buy a surge protector — a 
unit that plugs into the wall, 
providing protected outlets 
for you to plug your sensi- 
tive equipment into. 
Computer dealers, office 
supply dealers, and Radio 
Shacks have them in a vari- 
ety of prices. 

If you have a modem or 
fax machine, be sure to pro- 
tect the phone line as well. I 
lost a fax/data modem and 
a stand-alone fax machine 
when lightning struck in 
front of a neighbor's house. 
Don't let this happen to you. 

The Three-Finger 

Unfortunately, things will go 
wrong as you work with 
your computer, requiring 
you to reboot. When this 
happens, your first line of 
attack to cause the reboot 
should be the three-finger 
salute: holding down the 

Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys 
together. This resets things 
and starts the computer 
over again, just as if you'd 
just turned it on. 

If the computer has real- 
ly tied itself in knots, as it 
sometimes does, that won't 
work. The next step is the 
computer's reset button — 
most computers have them 
now. Without shutting the 
power down completely, 
this button causes the com- 
puter to reboot. 

Why not just turn the 
power off and back on? 
Doing so unavoidably caus- 
es your delicate computer 
components some extreme- 
ly wearing shock. The hard 
drive motor, for instance, 
tries to grab already-rotat- 
ing disk platters to start 
them spinning again. It's 
hard on the machine. 
Always try the other ways 
first and teach your family to 
stay away from the power 

For the same reason, 
don't be turning the system 
on and off all day. You'll use 
a little bit of extra power 
leaving it on, but it'll pay off 
in increased life for your 

Software Utilities 

The major utility programs 
(such as Norton Utilities and 
PC Tools) include preven- 
tive maintenance and diag- 
nostic routines that can be 
extremely helpful. Chief 
among them are the hard 
drive-defragmenting pro- 
grams. There's also one in 
DOS 6.x. To be safe, 
defragment your disk some- 
where between weekly and 
monthly, depending on your 
usage patterns. 

A Stitch in Time 

Take the time and effort now 
to take care of your home 
computer, and it'll serve you 
long and faithfully. □ 

cool stuff to do, or more cool people 
to do it with than GEnie? Join dozens 
of awesome 
over 200,000 files, talk to all those 
smart guys on the Internet, play some 
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you won't believe 
your eyeballs. 

(America Online) 



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m w 





This year's Intermedia show was bigger than 
ever. In fact, so many multimedia companies 
wanted to exhibit at the show that there wasn't 
enough space for all of them. 
Among the most exciting CD-ROM titles at the show were 
five new ones from DK Multimedia (212-213-4800), a new 
multimedia division of Dorling Kindersley Publishing, the 
company that supplied most of the graphics for Microsoft 
Dinosaurs and Microsoft Musical Instruments. The five titles 
are The Way Things Work, based on David Macaulay's 
best-selling book of the same name; Stephen Biesty's 
Incredible Cross-Sections Stowaway!, based on 
Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War, 
which shows, in intricate detail, the sec 
tions of an eighteenth-century English 
fighting ship; My First Incredible 
Amazing Dictionary, a lively 1000' 
word dictionary designed for 
children ages 4 to 7; The 
Eyewitness Encyclopedia of 
Science, based on Dorling 
Kindersley's excellent 
Eyewitness series of 
books for kids; and The 
Ultimate Human Body, 
which includes 3-D 
imagery and detailed 
microphotography. All 
five titles look great, but 
prices weren't announced, 
and the titles won't ship 
until fall. 

Of course, Microsoft 
(800-426-9400) isn't standing 
still. It announced five new CD 
ROMs: Microsoft Bookshelf '94 
($99.00), which brings one-click 
access to its seven reference books 
Microsoft Complete Baseball ($79.95) 
which lets you add daily baseball statistics by 
going online; Dangerous Animals ($79.95), which fea- 
tures 250 animals, 100 videos, and 1000 informative arti- 
cles; Ancient Lands ($79.95), which lets you explore the 
ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece, and Rome; and 
Multimedia Strauss ($79.95), which includes full record- 
ings of "Don Juan," "Death and Transfiguration," and "Till 

Media Vision (800-845-5870) added three new titles to 
its growing list of CD-ROMs. They are Grammy's 
Interactive (price not available), which features perfor- 
mances from 35 years of Grammy Awards telecasts; Road 
Scholar ($59.95), which tests your knowledge of the differ- 
ent regions of the United States; and Wiggins in Storyland 

(price not available), a writing program for young children. 
A longtime leader in CD-ROM titles, Compton's New 
Media (619-929-2500) announced two new titles: a John 
Lennon CD-ROM ($69.95), which is scheduled to ship 
sometime in the fall, and Babylon 5 — The Universal 
Encyclopedia (price not available), which provides back- 
ground information on both the fictional universe and the 
production of the popular science-fiction television series. 
Other new CD-ROM titles at intermedia included 
MegaRace ($59.95) from The Software Toolworks (415- 
883-3000), a fast-paced car race that features excellent 3- 
D-rendered graphics; The Big Bug Alphabet Book 
($39.95) and Animal Tales ($49.95) from Avtex 
(408-371-2800), based on two award-win- 
ning early-learning books; and MPG- 
NET (800-GET-GAME), an online 
ame network that uses a CD- 
ROM to minimize the amount of 
data that has to be sent over 
the phone line. 

Along with the large num- 
ber of new CD-ROM titles, 
there were quite a few 
disk-based multimedia 
applications, including 
MusicTime 2.0 ($149) 
from Passport (415-726- 
0280), an easy-to-use 
music composition and 
notation program; true- 
Space ($795) from Caligari 
(415-390-9600), a powerful 
3-D modeling program that's 
easier to use and less expen- 
sive than 3D Studio; and 
ToolBook 3.0 (price not available) 
and Multimedia ToolBook 3.0 (price 
not available) from Asymetrix (800- 
448-6543), the latest versions of the pow- 
erful multimedia authoring programs. 
On the hardware side, Axonix (800-466-9797) 
announced the CardStation ($400-$800, depending on 
the configuration). It plugs into any Type II PCMCIA slot 
and lets you add various combinations of drives and ISA 
cards to most notebook computers. Logitech (510-795- 
8500) announced its new video and audio capture board, 
which sells for just $299. In addition to capturing video, it 
functions as a Windows sound board and includes 
Adobe's Premiere for Windows 1.1. And multimedia audio 
took a giant leap forward when SRS Labs (714-442-1070) 
auditioned its SRS 3-D sound technology. It works with 
both mono and stereo sound and doesn't require the lis- 
tener to sit in a specific location to hear the effect. □ 


By David Sears 


igby demands 
attention. An insis- 
tent yellow-haired 
hound of indeter- 
minate purpose, he has 
covered my writing hand 
with friendly saliva. Wet, 
organic, unexpected — 
much like the computer 
graphics the people here 
create. Scratching Digby's 
head gives me a moment to 
bask in the modest aura of 
Foundation Imaging's 
unpretentious Valencia, 
California, offices and to 
wonder just how this team 
came together from what 
seemed nowhere with no 
money and managed to win 
an Emmy for outstanding 
technical achievement with- 
in its first year of operation. 
Digby knows, but in the 
noncommittal way of an 
office mascot, he's more 
concerned with 
talking to 
the an 

mators than this transient 
reporter. Ron Thornton, 
Foundation Imaging's visual 
effects director, ambles in 
to take Digby's place. 

Thornton doesn't lick my 
hand but for all intents and 
purposes seems just as ami- 
able. Who wouldn't be with a 
show reel of Foundation 
Imaging's caliber? 

To understand Thorn- 
ton's success, you must 
also know something of 
"Babylon 5," a revolutionary 
science-fiction television 
series airing weekly on 
Warner-affiliate stations. 
Since the pilot episode early 
last year, the video effects 
industry, science-fiction 
fans, TV Guide, and even 
Hollywood's high-powered 
executive class have taken 
notice of Foundation Imag- 
ing, the effects house that 
provides the brunt of 
^w graph- 

-■^ ^k. i c s 


for the show. What the 
series and Foundation 
Imaging prove in tandem is 
that you simply don't have 
to spend millions of dollars 

dramas, and intense acting, 
all on a shoestring budget. 
Overnight, "Babylon 5" was 
canonized by the pursuants 
of the desktop video faith. 

for quality work. Revolutions 
can consist of nuances, 
detail work, and business 

From the first moment 
the warp gate in "Babylon 5" 
powered up and regurgitat- 
ed a Vorlon armada, the 
viewing world knew that tele- 
vision had changed: some- 
thing about the way an hour 
of television is produced, 
perhaps, but something that 
allows for unprecedented 
graphics displays, sweeping 

"There," they said. "It's all 
done with Amigas and 
Video Toasters." They also 
muttered, "I could do that. I 
can do that. Maybe I will do 

Anyone interested in 
producing world-class spe- 
cial effects should talk to 
Thornton and his partners in 
the impossible. The 
Foundation Imaging trinity, 
consisting of Thornton, Paul 
Beigle-Bryant as computer 
imaging director, and 

Shannon Casey as produc- 
er, has its collective head 
together when it comes to 
generating the average of 
6000 frames of CG (Com- 
puter Graphics) animation 
seen in each "Babylon 5" 

Thornton takes me 
upstairs to hold council and 
introduces me to. the team. 
They wax philosophically 
on the video effects indus- 
try, Commodore computers, 
and attitudes good and 
bad. Digby soon joins us, 
flopping languorously on a 
nearby sofa. He's heard it 
all before, but he recog- 
nizes the importance of 
being there. Things are 
afoot at Foundation 
Imaging— revolutionary, 
quiet things that echo 
the entire 
"Babylon 5" 
There's a 
reason that 
Imaging and 
else involved 
with "Babylon 5" share a 
vision of what the series 
can accomplish, a reason 
firmly rooted in their atti- 

The vision began five 
years ago when Michael 
Straczynski — the show's 
executive producer and cre- 

ator — put together the initial 
necessary components for a 
pilot — script and art includ- 
ed — and made the studio 
rounds. Eventually, Warner 
bought into the property and 
agreed to the proposed bud- 
get — a budget far smaller 
than anyone expected. 
Could anyone produce a film 
demanding the level of detail 
"Babylon 5" required without 
spending enormous sums of 
money? Obviously, yes. 

Straczynski admits that 
stringent budgets enforce 
conservative scripting. For 
this reason, "Babylon 5" 
shows us a realistic space 
station largely unadorned 
and reserves special effects 
for special occasions. This 
logic works well within the 
milieu of be-lievable space 
fiction, of 
course, but it 
doesn't en- 
tirely overrule 
ship volleys at 
"Star Trek: 
The Next 
Generation" — 
the closest 
thing to a kindred spirit, at 
least on television. 

Take the now-classic 
Vorlon armada, for instance. 
We never see more than 12 
ships onscreen during "Star 
Trek: The Next Generation," 
and those are static models. 
The Vorlon armada numbers 

in the hundreds, and the 
ships fly at varying speeds 
in mesmerizingly dis- 
parate directions, a veri- 
table swarm of unearthly 

NewTek's Video Toaster, 
an add-on graphics card. 
Thornton, a special-effects 
designer, renounced phys- 
ical model construction 

alloys and mystery. 

Thornton had immediate- 
ly seen possibilities well 
beyond a simple and limited 
number of looming war craft. 
A fleet is a fleet, and that's 
what Foundation Imaging 
delivered. This constant 
intent to overkill, to ignore 
the technology envelope 
and do what hasn't been 
done — that's Thornton. And 
to do it on a limited budget 
(the golden rule of "Babylon 
5" production), Thornton 
needed inexpensive hard- 
ware. He found that in the 
Amiga, Commodore's mul- 
titasking wonder baby, and 

and embraced CG. 

Foundation Imaging 
houses 24 Amiga 2000s, 16 
of which serve as dedicated 
rendering engines. Each of 
the 16 packs 32 megabytes 
of RAM, a Fusion 40 accel- 
erator, and a Toaster. All the 
Amigas share data through 
a Novell network and off- 
load data to a 12-gigabyte 
486 PC file server. Beigle- 
Bryant's home-brew task 
manager parcels out render- 
ing work to each of the 
Amigas in the rack and 
ensures that no machine sits 
idle. Thanks to his clever 
resource management, the 



rendering time for a frame 
of "Babylon 5" animation 
averages 45 minutes, not 
too much more than that 
required for the less corn- 

about its Amigas, but most 
notable is the speed of 
each animator's worksta- 
tion. Even accelerated, the 
machines can perform slug- 

plex models used in the 
pilot episode. A true tech- 
nologist, Beigle-Bryant 
takes pride in the fact that 
no machine sits through a 
day without working. Even 
the animation workstations 
double as serious data 
crunchers when the anima- 
tors themselves take a 

On the sensitive issue of 
the Amiga's future, Foun- 
dation Imaging's opinion is 
realistic and familiar. 
"Commodore as a compa- 
ny doesn't exist," says 
Beigle-Bryant. "There's no 
new technology coming 
from Commodore . . . and 
we have to look at the gen- 
eral market for platform 
availability." On the other 
hand, Foundation Imaging 
doesn't throw away equip- 
ment, either, and the team's 
love of the machines is 
obvious. The Amigas and 
Toasters already in place 
will continue to process 
graphics data alongside 
whatever other boxes join 
them. Foundation Imaging 
would change a few things 


gishly at times, leaving the 
animators to read novels or 
romp with Digby. Perhaps 
this is less a deficiency and 
more a built-in license for 
good-natured distractions. 
After all, as Beigle-Bryant 
points out, to increase the 
speed of the animators' 
interface would dump more 

ter, after all, works only with 
Commodore Amigas. Foun- 
dation Imaging makes it 
clear that NewTek is a for- 
ward-looking company and 
is aware of the steps it must 
take to succeed. 

This leads me to inquire 
as to just how eager 
Foundation Imaging is to 
invest in new technologies, 
perhaps PC based, or even 
to use high-end Silicon 
tions. As 
for the 
notes that 
data is 
data and 
the net- 
work task- 
master could be tweaked to 
support parallel processing 
on a network made up of 
PCs and Amigas. Currently, 
NewTek's Lightwave soft- 
ware requires a Video 
Toaster to run; it could con- 

tasks on the rendering net- 
work. As things stand, work 
progresses at a comfort- 
able pace. 

This discussion raises 
serious concerns about 
NewTek's future. Its Toas- 

ceivably be rewritten to run 
on any machine. As to 
whether NewTek has begun 
such a project, Beigle- 
Bryant can't comment, but 
industry scuttlebutt has 
long predicted a PC-com- 

patible version of the 
Toaster. So why not a PC 
Lightwave package? 
Furthermore, NewTek's very 
sexy rendering engine, the 
Screamer — though still liv- 
ing a beta-version exis- 
tence — promises Silicon 
Graphics power at a 
reduced price. This hard- 
ware, too, has found a 
home at Foundation 

Is Foun- 
d a t i o n 
with its 
Not entirely. 
The com- 
p a n y ' s 
overwhelming desire to 
break the rules of what can 
and cannot be done for 
television has led the team 
to believe that a major 
upgrade to the network will 
have to occur in the next 
five to six months. 

According to Thornton, 
the overall look for the 
series may be set, but the 
things Foundation Imaging 
intends to do beggar 
description. More CG-gen- 
erated interiors, more 
sophisticated models still. 
The hardware direction 
Foundation Imaging will 
take remains off the record, 
but Thornton admits to 
using PCs and Macintosh 
computers for various 
effects seen in the show 
and for touching up some 
Amiga-generated images. 
What probably won't hap- 
pen, unless Silicon Graphics 
starts giving machines 
away, is an upgrade to 
Silicon Graphics worksta- 
tions. Prohibitively expen- 

For the first time in this continuum... 

for Windows 

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sive, that hardware could 
break a rough-and-tumble 
outfit such as Foundation 
Imaging. The team is quite 
proud of the fact that its 
entire stock of personal 
computers costs less than 
a single Silicon Graphics 
Reality Engine and that the 
results are nevertheless 

Admittedly, no one will 
mistake the CGI (Computer 
Graphics Interface) space 
sequences in "Babylon 5" 
for the real thing. Ships 
gleam with an unearthly 
sheen— but the believability 
factor depends on how the 
craft moves, and Foundation 
Imaging can squeeze a 
great deal of motion out of 
Video Toasters and Light- 
wave software. 

"The goal wasn't to 
make it look not CGI, but to 
make a cool shot. Design 
should come first. If it looks 
cool, great," says Thornton. 
For an upcoming episode, 

Foundation Imaging outdid 
expectations yet again by 
tackling organic model- 
ing — creating a functional 
(and dangerous) creature 
bent on eating brains. This 
is only the second time that 
an entirely computer-gener- 
ated beast has appeared 
on television; "seaQuest 
DSV" takes pioneering hon- 
ors for its squid. It's worth 
noting, though, that the 
"seaQuest DSV" team used 
Amigas and Toasters to 
create its creature in much 
the same way that Found- 
ation Imaging created its 
brain feeder. 

Selling the "Babylon 5" 
crew on the concept of a 
fully CG monster wasn't 
easy. Thornton began 
pitching the idea many 
months ago and, even after 
convincing everyone in- 
volved that Foundation 
Imaging could do the job, 
still had to contend with a 
bit of trepidation. In effect, 

Babylon 5— The Universal Encyclopedia 

Want to learn more about 
the universe and produc- 
tion of "Babylon 5"? 

Compton's NewMedia 
and Warner Bros. Con- 
sumer Products are team- 
ing up to release Babylon 
5 — The Universal En- 
cyclopedia. This CD-ROM 
contains multiple path- 
ways, including The 
Universe of Babylon, 
which describes the 
space station and its 
inhabitants; Aliens, which 
provides an encyclopedic 
description of the aliens 
and their home worlds; 
and Technology, which 
includes technical specifi- 
cations for the high-tech 

tools used throughout the 
show, as well as the 
space station itself. 

You can also step out- 
side the fictional world of 
"Babylon 5" and explore 
how the series is created. 
You can choose Special 
Effects, which gives you a 
look at Foundation 
Imaging's Emmy-winning 
visual effects, or Behind 
the Scenes, which offers a 
peek at the actual produc- 
tion of the show. 

An original bound 
"Babylon 5" encyclopedia 
will accompany the disc. 
The title should ship 
sometime this fall. 


the director kept the actors 
largely in place, forgoing 
what he feared was too 
much motion for the special 
effects to handle. In the 
end, the brain feeder looks 
believably sinister and 
moves much like any one- 
legged parasite would. The 
actors appear a bit silly 
because they don't move 
with as much frenzied activ- 
ity as the creature. With this 
lesson learned, however, 
we can expect more daring 
experiments from Foun- 
dation Imaging and 
"Babylon 5." 

In essence, Foundation 
Imaging isn't so much a CG 
house as an effects house. 
Its motto distills to Whatever 
It Takes, and the team at 
Foundation Imaging be- 
lieves this. Thornton has no 
problem combining physi- 
cal models or arrangements 
with CG images. A CG 
planetscape often looks 
ridiculous when viewed 
from space. Why bother, 
reasons Thornton, when 
you can scan a picture of a 
model and expect it to yield 
believable results? The 
same holds true for 
machine textures — just 

build a miniature and scan 
away. This saves the art 
team a remarkable amount 
of time, and the product 
looks great. Of course, 
these down-and-dirty meth- 
ods upset some Hollywood 
types. Foundation Imaging 
has lost jobs because the 
team wouldn't agree to fol- 
low unnecessary proce- 
dures and waste valuable 
computer time. Perhaps the 
ability to save money fright- 
ens adherents to the high- 
end status quo; perhaps 
the results of ingenious 
modeling efforts and supe- 
rior art direction have star- 
tled a slumbering Tinsel 
Town into a predictable 
arrogant panic. Perhaps. 

What's certain? Founda- 
tion Imaging does work of 
surperior quality on dread- 
fully slim budgets. If Warner 
renews "Babylon 5" for 
another season, Foundation 
Imaging intends to gener- 
ate more stunning CG 
effects than any other tele- 
vision series. If not, the 
company will find work 
doing great things its own 
way, with people who rec- 
ognize the team's vision for 
what it is: breathtaking. □ 




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Circle Reader Service Number 184 





I Spy ! And when a speaker's mag- 

Activision will develop and j net gets too close to a floppy 
publish a series of interactive j disk, it can cause irreparable 
espionage thrillers under the j damage to your files, 
direction of William Colby, j The SP100 speakers use 
the former director of the j your sound card's amplifier. 

Every major sound 
card has a built-in 
amplifier, so why pay 
more for amplified 
speakers when your 
sound card has that 
feature built right in? 
Installation is easy 
because all the 
cables and connec- 
tors you need are 

into your sound card and 
adjust the card's volume, 
and you're ready to go. No 
batteries or power adapters 

CIA. The first CD-ROM title is 
scheduled for early 1995. 

"His firsthand experience 
makes him the key to suc- 
cessful, one-of-a-kind, true- 
to-life espionage thrillers," 
says Bobby Kotick, CEO of 
Activision. "The William 
Colby line will have all the 
elements of a major motion- 
picture release: high-quality 
Hollywood production val- 
ues, recognized talent, fea- 
ture-film-quality sound ef- 
fects and music, and an 
intriguing script by a well- 
known screenwriter." 



Prices TBA 

Circle Reader Service Number 530 


How about a pair of speakers 
for your PC that combine 
great price, magnetic shield- 
ing, and easy installation? 
That description fits the 
SP100 Computer Speaker 
System from Sonic Products, 
which costs only $14.95. 
Most speakers aren't magnet- 
ically shielded and, therefore, 
aren't designed to be used 
with computers — their mag- 
nets can distort your monitor. 


are required. 

This speaker system works 
with all mono, stereo, 8-bit, 
and 16-bit sound cards, 
including Sound Blaster, Pro 
AudioSpectrum, and Windows 

The Reno Personal CD-ROM Player plays audio CDs, too. 

Sonic Products 



Circle Reader Service Number 531 

Whole Watching 

Did you ever want to go 
whale watching but were 
afraid it would be too risky? 
With the computer program 
In the Company of Whales, 
you can watch the whales 
and not even get wet! 

This program is the first in 

In the Company of Whales Dismweni 

In the Company of Whales lets you swim with the gentle giants. 

Sound System. You can even 
use your SP100 speakers with 
a consumer audio device, 
such as a Walkman or CD 
player. Simply plug the speak- 
ers into the headphone jack. 

a new series of CD-ROM 
products and represents the 
cream of the crop of 
Discovery Channel specials. 
The program consists of 
hypertext glossary words, 45 

minutes of exclusive video, 
and more than 200 still 
images and graphics, allow- 
ing viewers to probe and 
explore the world of this 
spectacular species. It's nar- 
rated by actor Patrick 
Stewart and provides video 
segments of four experts and 
their thoughts on a variety of 

Discovery Enterprises 



Circle Reader Service Number 532 

Portable Multimedia 

Media Vision recently intro- 
duced the Reno Personal 
CD-ROM Player, which is a 
high-performance double- 
speed external CD-ROM 
drive that can operate with 
either nicad batteries or AC 
power. Reno lets desktop 
and notebook PC users 
play CD-ROMs or standard 
audio CDs in their offices or 
homes, or on the road. 

The strength of the Reno 
is its versatility. When it func- 
tions as a stand-alone audio 
CD player, it can play musi- 
cal CDs either when it's sta- 
tionary or while it's being car- 
ried. Lightweight and com- 
pact in size, the Reno player 
can be easily transported by 
hand, in a shoulder bag, or 
inside a briefcase. 

When connected to a 
notebook or desktop com- 
puter via a SCSI connection, 
it can also function as a CD- 
ROM drive. As such, it offers 
high performance and relia- 
bility and meets the MPC 
Level 2 specifications. 

Media Vision 



Circle Reader Service Number 533 

A Multimedia Bargain 

How about a 50-MHz 
486DX2 multimedia comput- 
er for a song? Or close to it 
at $1,995! The new ALR 
includes 4MB of RAM, local- 
bus video, a 250MB hard 
drive, four CD-ROM titles, a 
two-button mouse, and a 14- 
inch color VGA monitor. 

The EXPRESS exceeds the 
MPC Level 2 specifications, 
so it will be compatible with 
the next generation of multi- 
media software. Included are 
a multisession (Kodak Photo 
CD-compatible) double-' 
speed CD-ROM drive, a state- 
of-the-art 16-bit stereo audio 


card, and external stereo 
speakers. The advanced 
audio card uses a DSP 
(Digital Signal Processor) to 
accommodate future software 
upgrades, including wave- 

table synthesis, QSound multi- 
dimensional sound place- 
ment, and MPEG audio 
encode/decode compression. 
The audio card is also com- 
patible with Sound Blaster, Ad 
Lib, and Windows Sound 

In addition, the EXPRESS'S 
hard drive comes preloaded 
with Windows 3.1, DOS 6.2, 
Voyetra Multimedia Sound 
Software, and HSC Interactive 
Special Edition. The four CD- 
ROM titles are Microsoft 
Bookshelf, Great Wonders of 
the World (Volume 1), The 
San Diego Zoo Presents: The 
Animals, and Where in the 
World Is Carmen Sandiego? 
(Deluxe Edition). 

Advanced Logic Research 


$1 ,995 

Circle Reader Service Number 534 

Product Onslaught 

InterActive Publishing has 
announced that it will intro- 
duce 50 CD-ROM titles 
before the end of the year 
and predicts that the industry 
as a whole will see 10,000 
titles introduced by 1996. 

Some of the products from 
InterActive Publishing that will 
be available this year are 
Beethoven's 5th, A Million 
Laughs, Eternam, Super- 
sonic, How Things Grow, 250 
World's Greatest Music Clips, 
1000 World's Greatest Sound 
Effects, Interactivity 
»-=-£ Packs, Teddy's Big 
Day, Ask About 
Dinosaurs, and 
many more. The categories 
will include education, multi- 
media utilities, "Intertainment," 
and knowledge enrichment. 

According to InterActive 
Publishing's chairman, Harry 
Gos, "From 1986, when CD- 
ROM drives were first intro- 
duced, through the end of 

Meet Wanda the Worm Woman in The Freak Show. 

1993, fewer than 10 million 
units had been sold world- 
wide. We project that in 1994 
alone 12 million units will be 
sold— with half of the total 
installed base in the hands of 
consumers. We further pro- 
ject that it will take until the 
end of this century for CD- 
ROM drives to achieve an 
80-percent household pene- 
tration. By 1996, media 
superstores will regularly 
carry over 10,000 CD-ROM 
titles in various formats." 

InterActive Publishing 


Prices vary. 

Circle Reader Service Number 535 

A Freak Adventure 

If you've always wanted to 
hang out with some true 
freaks, here's your chance. 
The Freak Show is an inter- 
active comic book illustrated 
with animation, graphics, 
original sounds and music, 
startling characters, and 
unique stories. It's the first 
CD-ROM release by The 
Residents, the notorious San 
Francisco performance 
group. The artwork has a 
three-dimensional interface 
and was designed by 
award-winning computer 
graphics artist Jim Ludtke. 

The Freak Show begins 
at a circus tent entrance. 

The Residents' iconic eye- 
ball logo appears on the 
screen and lures you into the 
tent. Once inside, you inter- 
act with the freaks by click- 
ing on five elaborate stages. 
For example, click on 
Wanda the Worm Woman's 
platform to call her from 
behind the stage curtain. 
Wanda then emerges to per- 
form her worm-eating act. 
Other featured characters 
are Benny the Bemp, Jelly 
Jack, and Harry the Head. If 
you're the adventurous type, 
you can explore the freaks' 
trailers outside the main tent 
by sneaking past a NO 
ADMITTANCE sign. The trail- 
ers contain access points 
that are revealed by the eye- 
ball icon. If you click on 
items within the trailers, you 
can discover the many 
eccentricities that shape the 
freaks' personal lives. 

The Residents are known 
for their innovative music and 
their experimentation with 
film, video, and new tech- 
nologies. They have released 
more than 20 albums as well 
as several video works, TV 
and commercial music 
scores, and a graphic novel. 

The Voyage Company 



Circle Reader Service Number 536 




By David English 


With so many sound cards 
available, it takes a lot to 
make one card stand out 
from the others. Creative 
Labs' new top-of-the-line 
sound card does just that. It 
includes a powerful E-mu 
Systems DSP (Digital Signal 
Processor), lets you load 
your own MIDI samples to 
the on-board 51 2K of RAM 
(upgradable to a whopping 
28MB), and features the 
best text-to-speech engine 
you're likely to hear on a PC 
anytime soon. In short, this 
is one feature-packed 
sound card. 

First, the basics: In most 
respects the Sound Blaster 
AWE32 is a standard Sound 
Blaster 16. It performs both 
8-bit and 16-bit stereo sam- 
pling and playback; has a 
standard four-operator, 20- 
voice stereo FM synthesizer; 
features a built-in amplifier; 
and includes the usual ports 
and interfaces for micro- 
phone, stereo line-in, CD 
audio, speaker, stereo line- 
out, joystick, MIDI (with an 
optional $79.95 MIDI kit), 
and CD-ROM drive (current- 
ly Sony, Mitsumi, and 
Creative Labs drives— but 
no SCSI drives). 

You also get Creative 
Labs' ASP (Advanced Signal 
Processing) chip, which is 
available now as an option 
on most of the company's 
16-bit sound cards. The ASP 
chip functions as a DSP, let- 
ting you add sound effects 
such as QSound, which lets 
you place sounds anywhere 
along a 180-degree space. 

The Sound Blaster 
AWE32 also has an E-mu 
Systems EMU8000, a chip 
new to the Sound Blaster 
line. Creative Labs owns E- 
mu, so it's no surprise that 
Sound Blaster cards are 


starting to use audio technol- 
ogy from this outstanding 
keyboard-synthesizer manu- 
facturer. The E-mu chip is 
yet another DSP that lets you 
add what Creative Labs calls 
Advanced WavEffects. With 
Advanced WavEffects, you 
can turn your AWE32 into a 
standard General MIDI card, 
a Roland Sound Canvas, or 
a Roland MT-32. You can 
also add reverb, chorus, and 
pan to your wave-table MIDI 
instruments (features that 
aren't currently offered with 

use Digital Equipment's inno- 
vative DECtalk technology. 
Most text-to-speech pro- 
grams sound too robotic and 
mispronounce too many 
words to be of much use. 
The TextAssist programs 
feature realistic voices and 
are significantly more accu- 
rate than other systems run- 
ning on PCs. 

How realistic are the 
voices? They actually have 
names and personalities. 
The package ships with 
nine voices: four adult 

The Sound Blaster AWE32 features a new E-mu Systems DSP chip. 

the Wave Blaster, Creative 
Labs' General MIDI daugh- 
terboard). The instrument 
sounds are excellent, as you 
would expect from E-mu, but 
you can also load your own 
sampled sounds into the 
card's RAM, essentially turn- 
ing your AWE32 into a 
music-sampling workstation 
(the kind that cost about 
$2,000 just five years ago). 
Allowing you to bring the on- 
board RAM up to 28MB 
means this board will attract 
serious attention from profes- 
sional musicians. 

The other major improve- 
ment is AWE32's TextAssist 
programs. These are five 
text-to-speech programs that 

female, four adult male, and 
one child. For example, 
Dennis has a breathy male 
voice, Wendy has a whis- 
pery female voice, and Kit 
has a child's voice. In most 
cases, you wouldn't con- 
fuse them with real voices, 
but if you didn't listen too 
closely and there was a fair 
amount of background 
noise, you could be fooled. 
The voices really are that 

The five TextAssist pro- 
grams that ship with the 
AWE32 are all Windows pro- 
grams. They are Texto'LE, 
which lets you embed text- 
to-speech objects into OLE 
client applications; Text- 

Assist Reader, which can 
speak text files out loud; 
Talking Scheduler, which 
verbally reminds you of your 
appointments; TextAssist 
Control Panel, which lets you 
create new voices, cus- 
tomize old voices, and asso- 
ciate voices with your 
Windows applications; and 
TextAssist Dictionary, which 
lets you customize the pro- 
nunciation of words. (By the 
time you read this, the 
TextAssist programs should 
be shipping with all Sound 
Blaster 16 cards that have 
the ASP chip. Current own- 
ers of Sound Blaster 16 
cards with the ASP chip can 
order the TextAssist upgrade 
kit for $29.95.) 

The package also con- 
tains a strong selection of 
audio applications and utili- 
ties, including Creative 
VoiceAssist, an easy-to-use 
speech recognition system; 
Creative WaveStudio 2.0, a 
Windows-based WAV 
file-editing program; HSC 
Interactive (Special Edition), 
a scaled-down version of 
the powerful multimedia 
authoring program; and 
Cakewalk Apprentice for 
Windows, a 256-track MIDI 
sequencer that includes 
staff notation. 

Despite the price, the 
Sound Blaster AWE32 
offers a lot for your money. 
The versatile General MIDI 
emulation from E-mu, the 
ability to load your own 
MIDI samples into memory, 
and the natural-sounding 
text-to-speech engine make 
this card a great choice for 
anyone looking for state-of- 
the-art PC audio. 

Creative Labs 

(800) 998-5227 


Circle Reader Service Number 550 

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City Graphs 

Jim 2799 

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SimCity is a registered trademark of Sim-Business dba Maxis. All other TM's are properties of Interplay Productions, Inc. 

life footage of those 
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This powerful Windows database 
manager is fully Mac compatible and 
awesomely easy to use. 

Tom Campbell 


FileMaker Pro 2.1 from Claris 
is that rarest of creatures in 
the database world: a pro- 
gram that gives you substan- 
tial power and a blessedly 
short learning curve. Indeed, 
this is probably the best Win- 
dows database product a non- 
programmer can buy. And it's 
equally ideal for programmers 
weary of learning new languag- 
es every time they want to ac- 
complish a task of low-to-me- 
dium complexity. 

Like many database manag- 
ers, FileMaker is feature-lad- 
en, but like no others, it has a 
design that makes those fea- 
tures so easy to use that it's 
hard to imagine they could be 
implemented any other way. 
This isn't surprising given File- 
Maker's lineage: Claris is an 
Apple-owned software compa- 
ny that develops uniformly ex- 
cellent products with the kind 
of interface that made the 
Mac so popular. Its brilliant 
Windows products retain 
both compatibility with the 
Mac versions and the fit and 
finish that brought the Mac 
software such renown. 

Creating a database with 
FileMaker is easy. You don't 
have to worry about creating 
indexes or setting maximum 
lengths for text fields— you 
don't even have to worry 
about numeric format. Yet if 
you're interested in constrain- 
ing data to values in a list, pull- 
ing it out of another database, 
or calculating numeric, text, 
or date values, FileMaker lets 
you do so without a lick of 

Creating a data entry form 
is a snap, and it makes fantas- 
tic use of what appears to be 
a minimal tool set. You can ere- 


I F ^MakerPr 

ate as many forms as you 
need, and you can attach ac- 
tions to graphic objects on 
the forms. 

FileMaker does so many 
things right that it's caused 
me to rethink the standards I 
use to measure the useful- 
ness of other software. Most 
database managers have 
form designers you use to cre- 
ate the data entry screens 
and separate query modules 
for constructing the filters you 
need to locate data in a mean- 
ingful fashion. With FileMaker, 
you won't even find the word 
query in the index. To find a re- 
cord, you simply click on the 
mode selector at the bottom 
of the screen and choose 
Find; a duplicate of your data 
entry form comes up. You en- 
ter the values and click on the 
Find button, and a subset of re- 
cords matching your criteria 
pops up. This is one of those 
obvious features that other 
products are now only begin- 
ning to offer. 

The powerful text-editing abil- 
ities set more new standards. 
FileMaker is the only database 
manager I know of that lets 
you use more than one kind of 

typeface or text style in a field. 
In most other database manag- 
ers, you have rudimentary text 
editors using Windows' built-in 
capabilities — but they impose 
single font/style restrictions. 
This limitation has broad impli- 
cations: You can't underline or 
italicize words in a cover letter, 
much less employ different 
typefaces. FileMaker lifts all 
those restrictions and surpass- 
es expectations. Not only do 
you get unlimited fonts and 
text styles in a single field, but 
you also get strikeout, double 
underlining, small caps, upper- 
and lowercase, and even title 
case, in which the first letter of 
each word is automatically cap- 
italized. The font menu shows 
the typeface names in their ac- 
tual typefaces. 

You also get the benefit of 
a spelling checker, one that's 
integrated logically into the 
day-to-day operations of the 
database. It can check select- 
ed text, a single word, the cur- 
rent record, all the records 
found in a query, or the entire 
database. It can, if you want, 
check as you type, beeping 
or flashing the menu bar 
when you err. The dialog box 


avoids the word you're check- 
ing, positioning itself in a 
screen section away from 
where you're typing. 

In any database manager 
there's a wall in application de- 
velopment, a point at which 
your needs can be met only 
with a programming lan- 
guage. Most of the time, you'll 
do just fine without program- 
ming, but as your needs 
grow, so does the likelihood 
that the database manager 
won't do something you need 
it to do. If the database man- 
ager doesn't have a program- 
ming language, you're 
hosed. If the language is too 
complicated and you're not a 
programmer, you're greatly 
inconvenienced (at least), hav- 
ing to rely on a friend's help 
or hire a consultant. Claris 
has redefined the problem 
neatly with its automated 

Using ScriptMaker, you con- 
struct a command sequence 
by choosing commands from 
a list box and attaching them 
to a button or a menu. When 
you add a command to your 
script, its options appear in 
the ScriptMaker dialog box, 
and you check them off or en- 
ter parameters from a sup- 
plied list. As a programmer 
I'm naturally somewhat skep- 
tical of this approach, but 
ScriptMaker does a fine job of 
meeting most of my program- 
ming needs. 

Interestingly, there are 
tasks the ScriptMaker program- 
ming facility makes harder 
than they have to be. For ex- 
ample, there's no convenient 
way to put up a dialog box 
with a user-defined message 
and caption with a single OK 
button, or to put up such a di- 
alog with a line for data entry. 
In C, Visual Basic, or C+ + , 
this is literally a one-line pro- 

gram statement. In FileMaker, 
you must simulate it using the 
program's form designer to 
create a form, add a graphic 
box and text over the box to 
create a button, use a Script- 
Maker command to display 
the form and put up the mes- 
sage, and then use another 
ScriptMaker command to 
hide the form. It would be 
nice if my dialog for entering 
a log-in name could be a built- 
in script element. 

Creating a command but- 
ton is also harder than it has 
to be. You have to draw it your- 
self using the square, circle, 
or rounded square tools; put 
a picture on the button if you 
like; and then add the text to 
the button. While this can be 
great in that you can create 
an infinite variety of cool-look- 
ing buttons, you aren't given 
access to the standard Win- 
dows command button that vir- 
tually any programming envi- 
ronment treats as a given. 

But overall, FileMaker's 
astounding use of the Win- 
dows user interface to keep 
you away from programming 
goes a great deal further than 
I had expected it would. The 
Entry Options dialog, which al- 
lows you to set conditions and 
perform operations on data en- 
tered into a field, allows you to 
do things with a few mouse 
clicks that I would have sworn 
required programming. That 
ability, I think, is at the heart of 
FileMaker's genius: Not only is 
the programming facility about 
as far from programming as it 
could be, but you seldom 
need to dip into it at all. 

The FileMaker documenta- 
tion is well written and gor- 
geously produced. One 
unique feature is a small man- 
ual detailing the sample appli- 
cations, called templates. 
Most other programs' sample 

apps fall pitifully short of meet- 
ing real-world needs, but File- 
Maker's are terrific. The Con- 
tact Manager template, for 
example, gives you a call log, 
an automatic fax creation for 
the selected customer, a la- 
bel maker, envelope printing 
and Avery label support, and 
a cover letter. The Products 
template contains a catalog 
of products replete with imag- 

IBM PC or 
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compatible, 80386 
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es, a vendor listing, and an or- 
der form. And the Expense Ac- 
counting template generates 
a tax form, has a spread- 
sheetlike data entry form, and 
gives you a monthly deposit 
summary. Network support is 
extensive, complete, and so 
well implemented that you 
won't even know it's there. 

FileMaker is easy to use, 
grows with your needs, comes 
with a great selection of sam- 
ple files, and comports itself 
well in a multiuser environ- 
ment. If you want Mac compat- 
ibility, look no further — the Mac 
and PC versions are virtually 
identical and even support the 
same picture formats. File- 
Maker is not the least expen- 
sive database manager, but 
it's worth every cent. □ 

Circle Reader Service Number 391 

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5201 Patrick Henry Dr. 
Santa Clara, CA 95052 
(800) 735-7393 



Tony Roberts 

Counting our 
blessings while DOS 

succumbs to 
internecine warfare 


At this writing, there are 
clouds all over the DOS hori- 
zon. By the time you read this, 
the haze may have cleared, 
but here's a rundown of the cur- 
rent state of confusion. 

A jury has decided that the 
DoubleSpace disk compres- 
sion utility found in MS-DOS 
6.x infringes on two patents 
held by STAC Electronics, the 
maker of Stacker, also a disk 
compression product. The 
same jury also found that 
STAC had borrowed an idea 
about advanced preloading 
from Microsoft. The result is 
that Microsoft owes STAC 
$120 million and STAC owes 
Microsoft $13.7 million. 

Microsoft plans to appeal 
the judgment, but in the mean- 
time, MS-DOS will no longer in- 
clude the DoubleSpace utility. 
MS-DOS 6.2 will remain avail- 
able, just without disk compres- 
sion. The StepUp files, which 
users of MS-DOS 6.0 could 
download from various online 
services to upgrade DOS 6.0 
to DOS 6.2, have been re- 
moved from those services. 
End users who already own 
MS-DOS products containing 
the DoubleSpace utility are 
not affected by the judgment. 

In a related development, 
IBM, which had scheduled an 
announcement about the re- 
lease of its PC-DOS 6.3, cir- 
cled the wagons and delayed 
its news conference for an un- 
specified period. PC-DOS 6.3 
was expected to be function- 
ally equivalent to MS-DOS 6.2. 

And on another front, Nov- 
ell is sending out upgrade no- 
tices for Novell DOS 7, the lat- 
est incarnation of DR DOS. DR 
DOS is the Rodney Danger- 
field of the DOS world, getting 
very little respect even 
though, feature for feature, it's 
usually a step ahead of MS- 
DOS and PC-DOS. The up- 
side for Novell, at this time, is 
that Novell DOS 7 uses Stack- 

er disk compression, so that 
distribution of its product ap- 
parently isn't affected by the 
STAC/Microsoft suit. 

Other features of Novell 
DOS 7 are: built-in peer-to- 
peer networking; DOS protect- 
ed mode services; preemptive 
multitasking; and a set of Win- 
dows utilities, including file 
backup, virus protection, and 
LAN administration. 

One of the nifty features MS- 
DOS 6.x provides is the ability 
to bypass or to step through 
your startup files when initial- 
izing your computer. When 
you switch on the machine, 
you normally hear a beep as 
MS-DOS begins taking con- 
trol. Press F5 within two sec- 
onds of that beep, and you're 
at the DOS prompt in a flash. 
No waiting while CONFIG.SYS 
and AUTOEXEC.BAT do their 
respective dances. This is 
known as a clean boot. 

Press F8 to step through 
the commands in your startup 
files one by one. As each com- 
mand is displayed onscreen, 
you press Y or N to tell the com- 
puter whether you want to ex- 
ecute the command or ignore 
it. This procedure is called an 
interactive boot. 

It's also possible to have 
DOS prompt you regarding 
the execution of individual com- 
mands as it works its way 
through the CONFIG.SYS file. 
This is done by appending a 
question mark to the com- 
mand on the left side of the 
equal sign. If you have a scan- 
ner, and sometimes you want 
the scanner driver loaded, but 
other times you want to con- 
serve that memory, use a com- 
mand like DEVICE?=SCAN- 
NER.SYS, and DOS will 
prompt you for instructions 
each time you boot up. 

Having this control over 
your startup files is an indispen- 
sable benefit when you're try- 
ing to see why an error mes- 
sage keeps popping up. As 
you step through each com- 

mand, you have plenty of time 
to examine and analyze the re- 
sults. Being able to skip the 
startup commands entirely is 
perfect when you want to de- 
frag your hard disk, a chore 
that's best done when the sys- 
tem's set up in bare-bones 
fashion with no TSRs compet- 
ing for attention. 

Helpful as it usually is to 
have this control over your start- 
up files, sometimes it be- 
comes a problem. In some sit- 
uations, you don't want users 
to be able to take control of 
the system. Perhaps you re- 
quire users to enter a pass- 
word when they start the com- 
puter, or you like to limit users 
to certain options displayed in 
a menu. How can you keep 
them from pressing F5 or F8 to 
take control of the system? In- 
sert SWITCHES=/N anywhere 
in the CONFIG.SYS file, and 
the F5 and F8 options will be 

If you want to accelerate 
your boot-up, add the com- 
mand SWITCHES=/F to CON- 
FIG.SYS. This eliminates the 
two-second delay that occurs 
before MS-DOS starts execut- 
ing. As mentioned previously, 
this two-second delay gives 
you time to press F5 or F8 be- 
fore MS-DOS starts executing 
the startup files. However, if 
you use the multiple configu- 
ration commands to create a 
CONFIG.SYS menu, your sys- 
tem will pause at the menu, so 
the delay is superfluous. 

Finally, those who've in- 
stalled MS-DOS 6.2 may be dis- 
mayed by the long memory 
test that runs when the Himem 
program is executed from with- 
in the CONFIG.SYS. This test is 
more complete than the typical 
power-on self test, but it can 
take a while to perform, espe- 
cially if you've installed meg- 
abytes of extra memory. You 
can disable the test by adding 
the command /TESTMEM:OFF 
to the end of the DEVICE=HI- 
MEM.SYS line. □ 



«SJSS|F P ^ "rJffiyW' 

V jfe -.t. 




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This isn't the same old song and dance- 
it's simply one of the best interactive discovery 
programs available for young children. 

Peter Scisco 


Saturday-morning cartoons 
were never like this. Take one 
stand-up comic with childlike 
wonder; mix with great tradi- 
tional kids' songs, classic nurs- 
ery rhymes, and topnotch an- 
imation; and put it all in a tech- 
nically sophisticated program 
that's as easy to use as a 
push button. TuneLand, from 
7th Level, is without a doubt 
one of the best multimedia dis- 
covery programs yet created 
for children. 

TuneLand is kid country, 
through and through. Chil- 
dren start the game in the 
barnyard, from which they 
can see all of the game's 
eight different locations. Mov- 
ing from one place to another 
is as simple as clicking the 
mouse. Shortcut keys are al- 
so available (Shift-P to visit 
the pond, for example), so par- 
ents can take kids quickly to 
places they want to go. 

Each scene, from the barn 
to the train station and every- 
where in between, features a 
set of characters and a song- 
book full of tunes. The charm 
of the program pops out in 
the complete interactive na- 
ture of the characters and 
their surroundings. 

But the emphasis here isn't 
on moving from one place to 
another. Rather, the real play 
happens when kids are free 
to explore TuneLand however 
they see fit. They get plenty of 
direction along the way in the 
form of cartoon-character 
guides, who introduce them- 
selves when kids enter a 
scene for the first time. After 
that, when kids want to move 
to another scene, they just 
click on their guide, who 
whisks them away. 

At each location, a mouse 
click causes the game's char- 

acters to break out singing or 
to act out traditional children's 
verses like "Jack and Jill" and 
"Hey, Diddle, Diddle." Hot 
spots launch clever little ani- 
mated bits that will have kids 
squealing with delight. 

The disc is packed with 
wonderfully produced music. 
Each song is tied to a specif- 
ic scene, according to its 
theme. When kids visit Grand- 
ma's kitchen inside the farm- 
house, they can sing along 
with such classics as "Three 
Blind Mice," "I'm a Little Tea- 
pot," and "Hickory, Dickory, 
Dock." A jazzed-up version of 
"Pat-a-Cake" is worth the 
price of admission. Not only 
will kids start singing, but 
they'll also clap their hands to 
the beat when the ginger- 
bread man encourages them 
to join in. 

Each of the other seven 
scenes includes as much 
song and dance as the farm- 
house. Down at the pond, the 
fish and frogs and other ani- 
mals belt out songs like "Row 
Your Boat" and "A Sailor 
Went to Sea." For real high- 

flying, hoedown, hootenanny 
action, go inside the barn. 
Buck Owens and Roy Clark 
don't have anything on the 
chickens, turkey, and horse 
who live there. They do some 
pickin' and grinnin' for "Tur- 
key in the Straw," "Shoo Fly," 
and "The Old Gray Mare," 
among others. 

Toddler train lovers will en- 
joy the train station, with that 
old pufferbelly favorite "Down 
at the Station." And clicking 
on the engineer sends the lo- 
comotive up the mountain. 
You can guess who'll be com- 
ing 'round the mountain, driv- 
ing six white horses. Those 
six goofy horses will send 
kids around the bend with the 
giggles. On the mountain, 
kids can meet Jack and Jill, 
who make their ill-fated trip 
for that troublesome bucket of 

Out in the pasture, the 
dish runs away with the 
spoon, and the moon politely 
dips down so that the cow 
can make her famous leap. A 
little girl named Mary and her 
pet sheep make an appear- 



ance in the pasture's open 
field, as does that twinkling 
wishing star. 

The program even has a 
jukebox mode, which lets par- 
ents and kids play the songs 
without running the main pro- 
gram. Families facing another 
bleak night of television can 
choose kid karaoke instead. 
Because the CD-quality mu- 
sic is piped directly from the 
CD-ROM, it can also be 
played on an audio-CD play- 
er. I don't recommend that, 
though — without a listing of 
musical tracks, it's hard to pin- 
point where the music is on 
the disc. 

The music and the charm- 
ing characters are enough to 
make TuneLand a fine pro- 
gram, but there's more. Dur- 
ing their explorations, kids 
can discover new ways to 
use the characters they 
meet. The trees at Grand- 
mas's house, for example, 
play music. Some of them 
make bell sounds or hip-hop 
percussion when activated 
with a mouse click. By click- 
ing on different trees, kids 
can create their own mixes. 

And a game of hide-and- 
seek threads its way through- 
out the entire game. Tune- 
Land's chief guide, Lil' Howie, 
is a young bear who can find 
the most unlikely places to 
conceal himself. Kids and par- 
ents alike will get a kick out of 
chasing him from one screen 
to the next. The voice charac- 
terization of Lil' Howie is per- 
formed by Howie Mandel — 
now that's an entertainment 
trivia question not likely to 
find its way into any board 

Animated sequences and 
humorous bits grace the pro- 
gram. As with other interac- 
tive CD-ROM titles, children 
are free to click wherever 

they like on the screen. If 
they hit a hot spot (and the pro- 
gram is loaded with them), 
they get a visual snack. Click- 
ing on a rocking chair plays 
an electric guitar riff and the 
voice of Wolfman Jack. (Not 
the real Wolfman — the voice 
impressions are performed by 
a studio of voice actors.) 

In the barnyard, there's a 
bluesy chicken standing near 
the fence (jazz fans will get 
the reference to Yardbird). It's 
these little touches — delight- 
ing kids while entertaining par- 
ents — that make TuneLand 
so remarkable. It sure beats 
glazed eyes staring at the lat- 
est video release. 

In general terms, Tune- 
Land outshines its kids' multi- 
media competitors from a tech- 
nical angle. Each animated 
tidbit is accompanied by excel- 
lent sound effects, which are 
broadcast through the comput- 
er's audio card. Because the 
music is reserved for the CD- 
ROM drive, it's not necessary 
to have a 16-bit audio card to 
enjoy the program. A less ex- 
pensive 8-bit card reproduc- 
es the zany sound effects 
and character voices without 
any major sacrifices in quality. 

All of the songs and some 
of the narration are piped 
right from the CD-ROM, giv- 
ing exceptional clarity. For 
that matter, the entire pro- 
gram runs fine from a single- 
speed CD-ROM drive (within 
the MPC Level 1 specifica- 
tions). Owners of double- 
speed drives may appreciate 
better synchronization be- 
tween the animation and the 
sound, but single-speed own- 
ers won't be disappointed in 
the effects. 

The look of TuneLand is rad- 
ically different from that of 
most of the other programs in 
this genre because it uses eel- 

based animation, such as 
that used in animated feature 
films. The result is readily famil- 
iar to anyone raised on Dis- 
ney cartoons. The props, scen- 
ery, and moving characters 
are sharply defined on the 
screen, without rough edges 
or quirky angles. 

Installation and operation 
are trouble-free and simple 
enough for the most inexperi- 
enced computer owner. The 

IBM PC or 
compatible (25- 
MHz 80386 or 
faster), 4MB RAM, 
256-color SVGA, 
hard disk with 
5MB tree, MPC 
Level 1 CD-ROM 
drive with audio 

program's pedigree can be 
traced back to George 
Grayson, among others. The 
significance relates to 
Grayson's experience at Micro- 
grafx, a graphics-software pub- 
lisher that was one of the first 
supporters of Microsoft Win- 
dows during the late 1980s, 
before that operating environ- 
ment was reborn in its pre- 
sent easy-to-use form. Consid- 
ering the problems some 
kids' multimedia titles can 
bring to parents (video 
anomalies, no sound, con- 
flicts with other PC compo- 
nents, and invasion of hard 
disk space, to mention a few), 
it's a truly welcome event 
when a publisher does it right 
all the way down the line. □ 

Circle Reader Service Number 392 

compatible audio 
device, Windows 
3.1 or higher; 
speakers highly 


1771 International 

Pkwy., Ste. 101 

Richardson, TX 


(214) 437-4858 




Peter Olafson 

Dynamix brings 

the diamond to the 

front page with 

its latest sports 




Take me in for the ball game. 
I've glimpsed the future of the 
Great American Computer- 
Game Pastime, and it is Front 
Page Sports: Baseball. Due 
this summer from Dynamix, 
this touch-all-the-bases 
sports simulation promises to 
lend the same sparkle to the 
diamond that Front Page 
Sports: Football and Football 
Pro provided to the gridiron. 

I could devote an entire col- 
umn to the game's features, 
which include career 
play (players age and 
eventually retire), more 
than 450 statistics per 
player, situational rat- 
ings (how a batter per- 
forms versus lefty and 
righty pitchers, in 
clutch situations, and 
on a month-by-month 
basis), and all-star 
games (with players se- 
lected by you or the comput- 
er). Weather is even simulat- 
ed, and rainouts may be re- 
scheduled as doubleheaders. 

And if you just want to play 
an uncomplicated game, the 
pitcher-batter interface offers 
splendid graphics, fluid move- 
ment, and an intuitive feel. The 
3-D ball fields have a physical 
presence I haven't sensed in 
any baseball game since the 
disappointing Earl Weaver 
Baseball II. 

One other element likely to 
attract special attention of 
leaguers is the artificial intelli- 
gence at the general-manag- 
er level. Computers might run 

teams just fine during the 
games, but that Al 


skill typically doesn't extend in- 
to larger management issues. 
It does in FPS: Baseball, 
though. The computer-con- 
trolled general managers 
draft free agents, demote play- 
ers to the minors, and rule on 
human-proposed trades. 
They even propose trades 

The farm league. Another 
baseball game — one with a 
lighter touch — is coming from 
those old baseball hands at Mi- 
croLeague Interactive. It's a di- 
verting Windows product 
called TimeOut Sports: Base- 
ball. In addition to practicing 

batting and fungo fielding, 
you'll be able to try out such 
skills as sign calling, brush- 
back throwing, and umpire ar- 
guing. The beta version is 
well crafted and fun. 

New friends. Computer 
games are fun. They're also 
big business, as we've been 
rather forcefully reminded re- 
cently by a couple of major 
deals. In one, Electronic Arts 
and Braderbund Software 
have agreed to merge in a 
stock transaction valued at 
about $400 million. The deal 
stands to give EA (which re- 
cently added Origin to its sta- 
ble) a more potent education- 
al and productivity software 
wing, while offering Brader- 
bund access to EA's distribu- 
tion and advanced technolo- 
gy. The deal is subject to share- 
holder approval, but if all goes 
well, it should kick in before 
you read this. 

In other hot news, corpo- 
rate giant MCA has made a sig- 

nificant investment in Interplay 
Productions (and acquired op- 
tions to increase that minority 
share), becoming Interplay's 
sole outside investor. The de- 
tails of the transaction weren't 
disclosed, but it has provoca- 
tive implications. Skip Paul, 
MCA's executive vice presi- 
dent, said in a press release 
that MCA's involvement won't 
be passive. "We will be work- 
ing through our newly formed 
Universal Interactive Studios 
unit to develop MCA proper- 
ties with Interplay," he said. 
"Not only will we be a bridge 
to the motion picture, music, 
and theme park busi- 
nesses, but we will also 
provide access to Inter- 
play for Matsushita's 

On the import shelf. 
The newest free-scroll- 
ing blaster from over- 
seas, Blue Sphere's In 
Extremis, feels like a 
cross between Wolfen- 
stein 3-D and Doom. 
The green alien blood that spat- 
ters off your helmet when you 
dispatch the baddies is an in- 
teresting touch. The combat se- 
quences in Battle Isle II (Blue 
Byte) have taken a huge 
jump. They've moved from a 
more rough-and-ready presen- 
tation in Battle Isle and the por- 
traitlike depictions in The 
Great War to a realistic 3-D en- 
vironment somewhat akin to 
Carrier Command's. 

PC users can look forward 
to some games imported from 
the Amiga world. In the works 
are versions of Computer 
Third Reich, the classic 
Avalon Hill board game with 
spiced-up Al and graphics, 
and Fighter Duel Pro 2, Jaeg- 
er Software's silken (and very 
tough) dogfighting simulation. 
Also in the pipe is Thalion's Am- 
bermoon, a role-playing 
adventure game with a unique 
3-D viewing perspective that 
smacks of both Ultima VI and 
Legends of Valour. □ 







All in one little box. 




d ma: 


For order information call 800-695-GAME today. 

Circle Reader Service Number 251 


Detailed interaction and sensational 

graphics and sound hook you into this full-scale 

simulation of carrier-based air combat. 

Scott A. May 


Few combat simulations allow 
you to experience the chal- 
lenge and satisfaction of a to- 
tal team effort quite like Micro- 
Prose's Fleet Defender: The F- 
14 Tomcat Simulation does. 
Armed with cutting-edge 
graphics and advanced flight 
dynamics, it should catapult 
the veteran simulation publish- 
er to the crest of success. 

Fleet Defender stands out 
from similar products for sev- 
eral exciting reasons. To be- 
gin, it's the first full-scale sim- 
ulation of carrier-based air 
combat. Few sensations can 
compare to the adrenaline 
rush of a carrier launch — un- 
less it's the dead-on accuracy 
you need to catch the 3-wire 
and land your 30-ton Tomcat 
on a flattop flight deck less 
than 300 feet long. 

Flying the two-seater F-14 
means you must pull double 
duty, serving not only as pilot, 
but also as RIO (Radio Inter- 
cept Officer). You'll also have 
increased reliance on and de- 
tailed interaction with your 
wingman, the better half of 
your two-ship CAP (Combat 
Air Patrol). Indeed, one of 
Fleet Defender's greatest 
strengths is total integration— 
within your multi-CAP squad- 
ron as well as among a wide 
variety of mission support 
craft. You get the exhilarating 
feeling that you're part of 
something much bigger. Rath- 
er than being the main focus, 
as in other combat sims, 
you're an invaluable part of 
the overall scheme. 

Simulation purists will be 
pleased with the realistic 
flight model. At the game's 

highest difficulty rating, the air- 
craft's response is unbelieva- 
bly true to the modeled forces 
of lift, thrust, drag, and gravi- 
ty. Other points of interest are 
the effects of air density and 
weather (such as humidity) on 
aircraft and weapons perform- 
ance, since the vast majority 
of your flight time is spent 
over water. 

Combat purists, on the oth- 
er hand, are asked to accept 
certain liberties taken with air- 
craft models and historic time 
frames. Here's the rub: Al- 
though the simulation is mod- 
eled on the F-14B, this upgrad- 
ed version of the aircraft was 
not in service at the time of 
the featured campaigns. To 
achieve maximum realism, 
the designers would've had 
to model the older F-14A, 
with noticeable performance 
degradation. It's a slight com- 
promise that most true fans of 
the genre can accept. 

Instead of wasting time (as 
other sims do) with opening 
animations, Fleet Defender 
shoots you right into action. 
You can choose to enter ei- 

ther of two full-theater cam- 
paigns, or you may select 
Training or Scramble. This 
last option — involving a single 
sortie generator for quick-and- 
dirty flights — characterizes 
the game's overall sense of ur- 
gency. Between the pulse- 
pounding music and stream- 
lined setup screens, there's 
definitely an air of frenetic en- 
ergy that's passed directly to 
the cockpit. 

Choose your mission-gener- 
ating options: enemy type, 
skill, number, and formation; 
starting altitude and relative 
position; time of day; weather; 
and squadron (based on 
eight real-life Top Gun units). 
One of the mission genera- 
tor's few limitations is the ina- 
bility to face more than one en- 
emy type from the more than 
30 aircraft and helicopters 
available. A probable reason 
for this is to provide pilots as 
much fun and flexibility as pos- 
sible without crossing the line 
into flights of fantasy. 

Training occurs at the 
Oceana Naval Air Station in Vir- 
ginia Beach. Although com- 


pletely optional, it's recom- 
mended that all rookie pilots 
spend time in the Fleet Read- 
iness Training program. Abso- 
lutely crucial is the wingman 
training, given the simulation's 
detailed interaction and the 
strategic importance of your 
wingman. While other games 
may use the wingman as 
mere cannon fodder to cover 
your six, most Fleet Defender 
scenarios will fail without effec- 
tive teamwork. 

Campaigns unfold in two 
large theaters of play: off Nor- 
way's North Cape and that per- 
ennial hot spot, the Mediterra- 
nean. Theaters are divided 
into three campaign scenari- 
os, each containing multiple 
mission sets. They're based 
on both historical and fiction- 
alized conflicts involving U.S., 
NATO, Israeli, and various So- 
viet-backed forces. Most in- 
triguing and disturbing is the 
Mediterranean fantasy cam- 
paign, Carrier Duel. This fright- 
ening precursor to World War 
III pits an outgunned U.S. car- 
rier force against an all-out So- 
viet assault just north of the 
Gulf of Sidra. 

You begin each campaign 
with 20 Tomcats aboard the 
carrier. Every aircraft you 
lose during your tour has an 
immediate impact on future 
success. Lose too many 
planes, and in some scenari- 
os, you won't be able to com- 
plete the campaign. 

By nature, the F-14 is a sup- 
port unit, so most missions re- 
quire that you take a defensive 
stance, flying escort for special- 
ized ordnance delivery or inter- 
cepting incoming enemy at- 
tacks on the fleet. Your main 
objective throughout is to pro- 
tect your carrier at all costs. 
Successful missions earn 
points, medals, and promo- 
tions — advances which give 

you a higher grade of squad 
members and wingmen. 

Fleet Defender boasts 
some of the most diverse and 
impressive military hardware of 
any recent combat simulation. 
You'll encounter over 30 ene- 
my fighters, bombers, and hel- 
icopters. You must also con- 
tend with more than 30 types 
of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and 
surface-to-air missiles (both 
land and carrier based). 

Fans of MicroProse's wide- 
ly underrated F-15 Strike Ea- 
gle III will be pleased to find 
many of the same designers, 
programmers, and graphic art- 
ists on board this flight. 
Those who are familiar with 
the previous title's keyboard 
layout and setup will take off 
with minimal assistance. Oth- 
ers will appreciate the ability 
to run through the training mis- 
sions with manual in hand, 
pausing the simulation to 
study instrument displays, tog- 
gle view modes, or test vari- 
ous key assignments. 

The simulation comes with 
two manuals: gameplay in- 
structions and campaign 
notes, both well written, nice- 
ly illustrated, and informative. 
The first covers initial game 
setup, hardware configura- 
tions, on-board controls, 
flight dynamics, cockpit dis- 
plays, and basic avionics. 
The second explores basic 
and advanced combat maneu- 
vers, details the simulation's 
campaign scenarios, and pro- 
vides descriptive appendices 
on friendly and enemy air- 
craft, weaponry, and naval ves- 
sels. The five-page glossary 
is an invaluable reference for 
the simulation's amazing col- 
lection of acronyms and mili- 
tary slang. The only thing miss- 
ing is a comprehensive index. 
The graphics are phenom- 
enal. Without doubt, these are 

the best MicroProse has yet 
produced. The same graph- 
ics technology used in Strike 
Eagle III is used, but with 
much greater success. Most 
remarkable are the new tex- 
ture-mapped aircraft, a marvel- 
ous replacement for tradition- 
al flat-edged, shaded poly- 
gons. Enterprising pilots can 
conceivably customize the 
bitmapped graphics used to 
wrap the polygon models. 
Imagine creating your own 
squadron logo and having it 

IBM PC or 
compatible (33- 
MHz 80386 or 
faster, 8048G 
or higher, 256- 
color VGA, hard 
drive with 14MB 
tree, mouse; 

appear on your aircraft! Other 
delights worth noting are fully 
functional multiscreen cockpit 
displays and sensational sky 
and water effects. 

The sound is also unbeliev- 
able, particularly the stereo ef- 
fect of missiles launching, the 
Doppler effect of passing air- 
craft, and the disconcerting 
change in pitch during a G- 
force redout. Your wingman 
contributes digitized speech. 

Fleet Defender aims a little 
higher than most other com- 
bat flight simulators, not just 
in its scope, but in its entire ap- 
proach. Perfectly structured 
for both novice and seasoned 
fighter pilots, this multilayered 
carrier-based simulation is 
bound to thrill a wide, recep- 
tive audience. □ 

Circle Reader Service Number 393 

supports Sound 
Blaster, Ad Lib, 
Roland, Pro 
and compatible 
sound cards— 

180 Lakefront Dr. 
Hunt Valley, MD 

(800) 879-PLAY 



Denny Atkin 

Defend democracy 

in 1942: The Pacific 

Air War; then 

eradicate it in Star 



MicroProse raised expecta- 
tions for PC flight simulations 
with the recent release of F-14 
Fleet Defender. However, F- 
14 is no longer the standard- 
bearer, having been blown out 
of the sky by another simula- 
tion — also from MicroProse. A 
WWII air combat simulation, 
1942: The Pacific Air War 
comes from Ed Fletcher, the de- 
signer of Task Force 1942. 

I wouldn't have thought it 
possible, but the graphics in 
1942: PAW are actually better 
than those in F-14. Every 

plane is texture-mapped in ex- 
quisite detail, and there's not 
a polygon in sight; you can 
even see individual struts on 
the complex landing gear of 
the Grumman Wildcat. A virtu- 
al-cockpit feature lets you use 
a second controller to pan 
your view freely about the cock- 
pit. There's even smoke from 
your guns as they fire, as well 
as tall splashes when rounds 
hit the water. More than a 
graphics tour de force, 
though, 1942: PAW also fea- 
tures realistic flight models 
and computer pilots with supe- 
rior artificial intelligence. 

A wide variety of planes are 
simulated in the game. You 
might start out flying an F4F 
Wildcat, be reequipped with 
an F6F Hellcat, and finish out 
the war in the cockpit of an 
F4U Corsair. Air-to-ground afi- 
cionados will appreciate the 
chance to fly the Devastator, 
Avenger, Dauntless, and Hell- 
diver. (If you want to fly for the 

Japanese, of course, you'll 
find the Zero, Val, Kate, and 
other UN mainstays.) Flight 
models are realistic, and you'll 
quickly learn the advantages 
of each plane — and the disad- 
vantages. One feature that 
adds to the fun factor is the abil- 
ity to jump into the cockpit of 
another plane in your flight. If 
your TBF launches a dud tor- 
pedo, jump into the next 
plane and make another run. 
You can also choose to fly in 
the backseat of attack aircraft, 
defending your plane's rear 
with a machine gun while the 
autopilot handles the flying. 
Although 1942: 
PAW is missing the 
close wingman coor- 
dination found in F- 
14, it addresses eve- 
ry weakness sim 
fans found in the lat- 
ter product. There's 
a powerful replay facil- 
ity for going back 
and viewing your bat- 
tles, either from your 
plane's cockpit or from a free- 
floating camera. You can edit 
films, save favorite camera an- 
gles, and even jump into the 
cockpit at any point during the 
replay and change the course 
of history. The game also has 
one of the most complete mis- 
sion builders ever to grace a 
PC sim, allowing you to re-cre- 
ate historical battles not includ- 
ed with the game or create all- 
new challenges. 

This is more than just a 
flight simulation, though, as 
you might expect from Fletch- 
er. You can also act as com- 
mander of the naval task forc- 
es, sending ships on patrols, 
launching recon and attack 
flights, and dedicating aircraft 
to Combat Air Patrol. As the bat- 
tles heat up in this realtime na- 
val simulation within a simula- 
tion, you can hop into the cock- 
pit of a plane heading into com- 
bat or choose to sit out the fight- 
ing in the safety of the aircraft 
carrier's war room. 

Reach out and disintegrate 
someone. "Oh, boy!" I 
thought. "Another space 
game!" Then I glanced at Star 
Reach's documentation as I 
was installing the alpha ver- 
sion, and my mood darkened. 
"Oh, boy. Yet another space 
conquest and resource man- 
agement game," I thought. 
But once I started the game 
up, I realized this was some- 
thing different. 

Don't get me wrong — Star 
Reach isn't very original, and 
it owes a lot to predecessors 
such as Reach for the Stars, 
Star Control, and Masters of Ori- 
on. It's a space conquest 
game where your goal is to con- 
quer planets and then use the 
resources of those worlds to 
build your fleet, giving you the 
power to reach out and grab 
even more territory. Along the 
way you'll allocate planetary re- 
sources to production, use sup- 
ply lines to spread resources 
out, and build bigger and bet- 
ter spaceships. 

Where Star Reach differs 
from antecedent games is in 
how it's played. Previous 
games worked on a turn-by- 
turn basis. Ship-to-ship com- 
bat was in realtime in some of 
them, but for the most part you 
had time to stop and really con- 
sider your strategies. In Star 
Reach, everything's in real- 
time. While you're sitting there 
deciding whether or not it's a 
good idea to strip-mine Pluto, 
your opponent may be launch- 
ing her deadly invasion fleet. 
This brings an incredible level 
of new excitement to what oth- 
erwise may have been a case 
of the same old stuff. Although 
you can challenge computer 
players, this game is likely to 
be at its best against a human 

Coming soon from Inter- 
play, this is the game to put 
some excitement back into the 
lives of interstellar despots 
bored with day-to-day space 
conquest. □ 


i lie my Duy a now u merceaes 
with all the options." 

"Winner: Adventure Game 
of the Year." 

"... a monumental adventure game, destined to 
become as much a classic as the original." 

"Pumped-up software . . . radical transformations." 

"Return to Zork opens nostalgically, 
and then things start to run and 
jump and shout and sing." 

More praise tha; 
we can prini^ 

More adventure than 
you can ask for. 

"Winner: CD-ROM Game of the Year." 

"A truly amazing, next-generation product, 
of such unparalleled quality that it must 
become the model for all tomorrow's designers." 

JMiiVffiM ■;/cew 

"... the best use of full-motion video in 
any CD-ROM game . . . 
You're not watching a movie. 
You're in the movie." 

Stunning computer-generated 

"A beautiful, engrossing game ... 
with a ground-breaking interface." 


"Return to Zork leapfrogs far beyond 
the shoulders of its ancestors and lands 
smack bang in the land of complete up-to-dateness. 

'Winner: Adventure Game of the Year/ 7 

"One of the most technically 
advanced and artistically satisfying 
computer games you'll ever 
have the pleasure to die in." 

"Top 10 electronic selection." 


"A rollicking adventure that will test 
the mettle of even the most wordly 
of adventuft gamers." 


"If's the gameplay that counts and 
. Return to Zork is great." 

A cast of 23 actors with over 
an hour of interactive dialogue. 

Serious puzzles with 
a sense of humor 

An epic adventure . . . underground. 


inFOconv Now available for Macintosh® CD. AcfiVisiON 

See your local retailer or call 1-800-477-3650. MS-DOS CD-ROM and 3.5" disk versions available. 



c s 






















09 Bi09 
09 W " 


u © 

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong 
took one small step and forever 
changed the scope of explo- 
ration. In the 25 years that have 
passed since the first manned moon 
landing, man hasn't physically ven- 
tured farther than the earth's moon. 
Although humankind hasn't moved out 
into the universe, personal computer 
technology has allowed much of the 
universe to come down to earth where 
we can explore it in the comfort of our 
own homes. There are dozens of 
space-related programs that let you 
learn about the heavens, pilot histori- 
cal spacecraft, or carry manned 
space exploration on to its next step. 

Spaceflight Simulation 

One of the earliest space simulation 
programs was the classic Lunar 
Lander program created by high- 
school student Jim Storer. It was a rel- 
atively simple 40-line program with no 
graphics. You typed the amount of 
thrust to use, and the program calcu- 
lated your velocity and height as your 
lunar module descended. If you land- 
ed at a velocity of less than 1.2 mph, 
the mission was considered a suc- 
cess. A velocity of less than 10 mph 
was considered a survivable landing, 
and anything higher would create a 
new crater. The concept was refined 
as a commercial arcade game with 
black-and-white, 2-D graphics and 
joystick control. A 1980 Apple II ver- 
sion of the arcade Lunar Lander by 
Bill Budge (of Pinball Construction Set 
fame) was one of the first fact-based 
space simulations. 

We've come a long way since 
those early space games. With the 
massive storage offered by CD-ROM, 
the realistic graphics provided by 
SVGA, and the greatly increased pro- 
cessing power of new PCs, modern 
space programs are the next best 
thing to being there. 

Return to the Moon ($49.95), a CD- 
ROM application from Lunar Eclipse 
Software, includes an updated graphi- 
cal version of the lunar landing simu- 
lator. This one is far different from its 
text-only predecessor, though, with 
the lander's windows featuring video 
based on actual Apollo footage. The 
package has a database which 
includes an atlas of lunar features, 
including landing sites of U.S. and 
Soviet lunar probes, as well as hun- 
dreds of photos, video clips, and 
sound bites from the moon race. 
There's even a Lunar Academy fea- 
ture, which includes quizzes on the 
moon and space exploration, but 
unfortunately, there are some mis- 
takes here. True to its name, the pack- 
age also includes information on cur- 


Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego? 

Discover Space 

A-OKi, The Wings of Mercury 


rent proposals for returning manned 
spacecraft to the moon. 

Shuttle: The Space Flight Simulator 
($39.95), from Virgin Games, is very 
likely the most complex flight simula- 
tor designed for personal computers. 
Available for the PC and the Amiga, 
Shuttle puts you on the flight deck of 
the most advanced, complicated 
machine ever designed, NASA's 
Space Shuttle. Every aspect of an 
actual shuttle flight, from launch to the 
gliding landing, is simulated in exact- 
ing detail. You'll deploy and repair 
satellites, run SDI experiments, and 
deal with in-flight emergencies. 
Although the program's over two 
years old, it still stands out as the 
most authentic spaceflight simulation 
available for the PC. 

Two upcoming simulations will try 
to wrest that distinction from Shuttle. 
A-OKI, The Wings of Mercury from 
Innovative Technologies is a full simu- 
lation of the original Mercury space 
capsule. The developer says it's an 
absolutely faithful replication of the 
first American space capsule, with the 
95 switches and controls, 22 status 

indicators, and 21 gauges all function- 
al. The program is currently available 
only for the Macintosh, but a PC ver- 
sion could follow if there's enough 
interest. (Send electronic mail to nas- for more information.) 
The other contender, Microsoft Space 
Simulator, has been kept under tight 
wraps by the developer. However, it 
promises to accurately simulate both 
past and future space systems, and if 
the company's Flight Simulator is any 
indication, this program may set new 

This spacecraft simulator unfortu- 
nately isn't available for microcomput- 
ers. PILOT (Portable In-flight Landing 
Operations Trainer) runs on a 
Panasonic Solborne, the portable 
equivalent of a 25-MIPS Sun 2 worksta- 
tion. PILOT simulates the view out the 
shuttle's windows, as well as the prima- 
ry flight gauges for a shuttle landing 
from the time the commander takes 
control through landing. Astronauts 
have used PILOT on long missions to 
refresh their skills before they have to 
land the shuttle in real life. I got a 
chance to try PILOT and landed it sue- 


A. O 






See fhe CanMna. space bottles, hqperspace and-more. 




lit L 

Enjoq an insider's viem- character 
biographies, blueprints, the complete script. 

Stand alone product compatible 
lifh Intermission"' and lifter Dark 

every grear film is o 

screen saver. Star Wars Screen 
Entertainment brings pr monitor 
screen savers and more... 
the concepts, original art. 

For Windows and Macintosh • At your favorite 
software retailer or call 1-800-STARWARS 

-!! i J ' 


animation, sounds, even 

a special message from 

George Lucas. Now Star Wars is 

on pr computer -Screen 

Entertainment lias arrived. 

All lights reserved. Used Under Auibori/alion, 

cessfully twice, but I'm embarrassed to 
say that I also crashed it twice. 

Sim (Space) Cities 

For a look at what life on the moon 
might be like after man does return 
there, check out Lunar Command 
($49.95), from Mallard Software. This 
is an updated version of Wesson 
International's Moonbase simulation, 
and it puts you in the role of adminis- 
trator of a lunar colony. You have to 
decide how to allocate your fixed 
resources toward building new struc- 
tures and mining raw materials, all the 
while hoping for technology break- 
throughs. The program includes an 
excellent novella which describes 
your roles and responsibilities. 

Similar in concept, but far more 
advanced in execution, is Sierra's 
Outpost CD. You're in charge of a 
space fleet containing the last sur- 
vivors of a destroyed earth. You have 
to find a suitable planet, determine the 
best spot to settle down in, and then 
create and manage a colony on the 
surface. Although the program is set 
in a distant, technologically advanced 
future, all of the theories and technolo- 
gies used in it are based on actual 
space exploration research, including 
NASA data. 

Stellar Education 

Braderbund proves that entertainment 
and education can go hand in hand 
without being preachy with its classic 
Carmen Sandiego series. Where in 
Space Is Carmen Sandiego? ($79.95) 
sends Carmen out into the solar sys- 
tem. This time, Carmen's henchmen 
are cartoonish aliens, and she's steal- 
ing actual planets and moons. You fly 
a Cosmohopper 911 Turbo space 
vehicle and use a VAL 9000 computer 
to track Carmen down, viewing beau- 
tifully rendered images of the various 
celestial bodies you visit. The pro- 
gram comes with a pocket astronomy 
guide to help you determine where 
Carmen has fled. 

Interplay's Buzz Aldrin's Race into 
Space ($69.95) is a historical strategy 
game based on the American/Soviet 
race to the moon. You're the head of 
the U.S. or Soviet space program, and 
you can compete against another 
player or the computer. The CD-ROM 
version, which features more sound 
and actual digitized video, also lets 
you play via modem or mail. Your 
must make decisions regarding hard- 
ware purchases, astronaut training, 
research and development funding, 
and testing or cutting corners to stay 
ahead of your adversary. The game's 
universe has made minor changes to 
history to keep the game manage- 


able. Four different NASA centers 
have been integrated into one super- 
center, with astronaut training com- 
bined with purchasing, designing, 
and assembling launch vehicles. 
There are some minor technical and 
historical mistakes, but the program 
still gives an excellent historical per- 
spective of the difficult moon race. 

Spacey CD-ROMs 

Media Clips' Worldview CD-ROM 
($39.95) contains 100 still images, 
100 audio clips, and 25 QuickTime 
movies covering various aspects of 
the space program. The movies 
include launches, lunar spacewalks, 
and President Kennedy's moon 
speech. Each photo includes a short 
accompanying musical score and a 
description. The audio clips include 
important speeches and sound bites. 

Space Shuttle ($49), from Software 
Toolworks, is a database of the first 53 
shuttle missions. It features informa- 
tion on astronaut training, the shuttle 
program's history, video clips, and 
digitized pictures from each of the first 
53 shuttle missions. Don't try to 
access the mission data for classified 
shuttle missions, though— the pro- 
gram will stop you! Unfortunately, the 
CD-ROM has some problems. It 
doesn't note that there were unclassi- 
fied military shuttle missions, it identi- 
fies many pieces of hardware incor- 
rectly, and it includes errors in its nar- 
ration. Still, it's an interesting overview 
of the shuttle program, and it would 
be superb if an error-corrected 
update were made available. 

If you have access to a computer 
interfaced to a videodisc player (many 
schools have such equipment), con- 
sider NASA's 12-inch Pioneer video 
laser disc containing earth observa- 
tion images taken by shuttle astro- 
nauts. A 2MB text file on the disc 
includes descriptions of the pictures. 
All together, there are about 91,500 
video resolution images from the first 
44 shuttle missions! The laser disc 
retails for $55. 


If your interests lie more in the bodies 
in the heavens than in the machines 
that explore them, you should check 
out the many excellent planetarium 
simulators available. These will show 
you not only what the night sky looks 
like outside your own house but also 
what the sky looked like in ancient 
times. Some even let you see what the 
sky would look like from a spot on 
another planet! There are many such 
programs available, including Orbits, 
Dance of the Planets, Expert 
Astronomer, and Distant Suns. 

One of the most impressive is 
Redshift ($99), a Windows CD-ROM 
from Maris. The program has an 
extremely powerful celestial simulation 
engine programmed by former 
Russian spacecraft controllers. You 
can put yourself anywhere in the solar 
system and show the sky view in sev- 
eral different coordinate systems. The 
disc includes digitized photos of solar 
system objects, stellar targets, and 
other astronomy-related topics. 

Raw Data 

If you're looking to dig deep into 
learning about the heavens, you can 
obtain the actual data obtained by 
NASA's science satellites and view it 
on your PC. NASA stores spacecraft 
scientific data at the National Space 
Science Data Center (NSSDC) at the 
Goddard Spaceflight Center in 
Greenbelt, Maryland. CD-ROMs avail- 
able from Goddard include data from 
the Magellan Venus radar mapper, 
the TOMS ozone mapper, the Extreme 
Ultraviolet Explorer, the Viking Mars 
mission, and Voyager's encounters 
with the outer planets. The CD-ROMs 
sell for about $20 each, and most 
include a viewer right on the disc. 

Unfortunately, the pictures and 
instrument readings from the Hubble 
Space Telescope — some of the most 
fascinating data yet obtained about 
space — aren't available on CD-ROM 
yet. The Space Telescope Science 
Institute is cooperative about giving 
out photographs and slides of 
images, but seems unwilling to part 
with the actual data so far. Here's 
hoping for a CD-ROM packed full of 
images from the newly rejuvenated 
space telescope soon. 

There is a Hubble-related CD- 
ROM. Hubble requires a large data- 
base of guide stars to point it at its tar- 
gets. The entire sky was mapped from 
ground-based observatories, creating 
a database containing the locations of 
18 million stars. The Hubble Guide 
Star Catalog is sold on a pair of CD- 
ROMs by the Astronomical Society of 
the Pacific for $52.95. That's less than 
$0.000003 per star! 


Whether you're a frustrated astronaut 
wannabe, a space program watcher, 
an astronomy fan, or a parent con- 
cerned about science education, 
you'll find a wealth of space-related 
software out there. So load up your 
favorite space program and prepare 
to blast off into a universe of fun and 
learning. □ 

Editor's note: Portions of this article 
were contributed by Denny Atkin. 



Paranoid population. 

Psychotic criminals. ., /" 
r Power Hungry corporations. ^ 
'j^ig, Brother government, -'' • r? . 
^ Haves and have nots / 

Airiericaf *\ 


n ■ 





J - , In a future only Virtual TJieatre could m^ke real. 1 ;' 
" ' . _^£ ^ . 

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. $f* 

Available on 

Circle Reader Service Number 146 

^ r si 



Progress is swift throughout 
the computer industry, and 
the CD-ROM market is no ex- 
ception: NEC introduced dou- 
ble-speed drives in January 
1992 and followed them in 
late 1993 with a triple-speed 
line. NEC's latest achieve- 
ment, the 4X Pro quad- 
speed drive, is an indication 
of just how quickly CD-ROM 
technology is evolving. 

The drive's raw perform- 
ance ratings are impressive, 
but even with a four-times 
speed-up the drive doesn't 
approach the speed of a 
hard disk; it has an average 
track access time of 180 mil- 
liseconds. This represents on- 
ly a slight improvement over 
the average access time of 
the fastest 3X unit. The 4X 
Pro, however, moves data at 
a sustained rate of 600K per 
second. The sum effect of 
these increases makes for 
CD-ROM performance that 
many will find worth the ex- 
tra cost. 

On my 33-MHz 486 sys- 
tem, the drive showed exem- 
plary throughput. In a pure- 
ly subjective test, running 
side by side with a low-end 
double-speed drive, the 
quad-speed did indeed feel 
significantly faster. Perform- 
ing identical search and me- 
dia-playback requests using 
The New Grolier Multimedia 
Encyclopedia as a bench- 
mark, the 4X performed no- 
ticeably faster, though not 
quite twice as fast. 

In the area of motion vid- 
eo, however, the unit really 
shone. Video clips played 
back on the 4X Pro ap- 
peared more fluid and life- 
like, because the increased 
throughput led to significant- 
ly fewer dropped frames. Mul- 
timedia aficionados may 
find the premium price 


If you're looking for blazing CD-ROM speed, the NEC MultiSpin 4X 
Pro is one of the fastest drives on the market. 

File Hardware fjOS windows tjelWare Benchmarks Options Help 

Syriem | R«o.tmwvr | ftWTofji | Piin<fi?p«l 

System Summary 





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Nelwotf.Pit**: NoNernofclnsiafed 



3/17/3* 3:41PM 

76* Free ~ -57*Fieo 8XFwo | 1 * , 

PC Tools for Windows 2.0 includes System Consultant, which can 
automatically optimize your system settings. 

worth it for this capability 
alone. When combined with 
ATI's latest Graphics Ultra+ 
video card, which has built- 
in support for Video for Win- 
dows, multimedia titles ran 
with remarkable fluidity in 
full-screen glory. 

The 4X Pro is a solid unit, 
and as a bonus has a full 
set of controls on the front 
for listening to audio CDs. 
However, the price may 
keep all but the most commit- 
ted multimedia fans at bay 
for the time being. 


NEC Technologies 
(800) NEC-INFO 

Circle Reader Service Number 434 


You might as well face it — 
you're addicted to tools. Be- 
fore Windows, all kinds of lit- 
tle DOS utilities littered your 
hard disk. Central Point Soft- 
ware was there to help inte- 
grate all those utility func- 
tions with PC Tools, and it 
hasn't abandoned you now 
that you've moved on to the 
world of Windows. 

The first version of PC 
Tools for Windows (PCTW) 
gave users extensive control 
over their work environment. 
From enhanced file manage- 
ment to virus protection and 
disk backup, it was as 

much an improvement over 
Windows as Windows was 
over DOS. 

Version 2.0 continues 
that trend— not with small 
steps, but with substantial im- 
provements and even more 
tools for the savvy Windows 
user's arsenal. Chief among 
them is better protection 
against system crashes. 
The CrashGuard system 
monitors system resources, 
free memory, and disk 
space. As CrashGuard's 
warning needle moves to- 
ward the redline, you can 
back away from potential 
crashes by closing inactive 

If you've used Windows 
for any time at all, you've 
probably experienced the 
nightmare of sifting through 
your system's various INI 
files. PCTW makes the job a 
little easier with plain-Eng- 
lish descriptions of each INI 
line that it can recognize (it 
recognizes the majority of 
INI entries, but some 
strange anomalies escape 

Want better performance 
from your machine? Ask the 
PCTW System Consultant. 
In this improved version, 
you get more than just sug- 
gestions. You can click on 
the Do It button and have 
the changes made automat- 
ically. Suggestions range 
from defragmenting your 
hard disk to editing the sys- 
tem files. 

One of the most attractive 
features of PCTW 1 .0 was 
its reorganization of Win- 
dows into working desktops, 
complete with folders and 
file drawers. But the original 
Desktop required a lot of 
maintenance; as you 
moved files from directory to 
directory (as you're apt to 
do in the never-ending strug- 
gle to stay on top of your 
hard disk), the folders didn't 
reflect those changes. Ver- 


sion 2.0's AutoSynch option 
accurately recognizes all 
changes, either automatical- 
ly or at your command. But 
the matches go only one 
way, and changes made in 
the Desktop interface aren't 
passed back to the filing sys- 
tem — you can't move a file 
from one directory to anoth- 
er by dragging its icon from 
one folder to another. Two 
steps forward, one step 

The new File Manager re- 
placement improves on an al- 
ready robust module. View- 
ers for more than 100 differ- 
ent formats, and PKZIP 2- 
compatible compression 
make it easy to manage any 
disk. However, the PCTW 
2.0 file viewer isn't interac- 
tive; that is, you can't copy 
portions of the viewed file to 
the Clipboard for use in oth- 
er applications. The addition 
of that capability would 
make this the perfect file 

If you lose a file because 
you misplace it somewhere 
on your new 340MB hard 
disk, the PCTW 2.0 file find- 
er, SmartFind, lets you lo- 
cate it by name or by search- 
ing for a bit of text within the 
file. If you lose a file be- 
cause you accidentally 
drop it into the electronic 
trash can, the program's Un- 
delete feature retrieves and 
smooths out your virtual rum- 
pled paper wad. 

Disk optimization gains 
speed in the new version, 
but the module defragments 
only standard DOS format 
and DoubleSpace — there's 
no Stacker support. Central 
Point Anti-Virus 2.0 is an in- 
tegral part of the mix, as is 
Central Point Backup for Win- 
dows, with support for tape 
backup, SCSI, and networks 
all part of the package. 

Central Point has ad- 
dressed almost all of the ma- 
jor complaints and sugges- 

tions from PCTW 1.0 users. 
The company continues to 
make Windows truly useful 
by capitalizing on its graphi- 
cal nature and enhancing 
the interface between us 
and our machines. 


Central Point Software 
(800) 873-7409 

$49.95 (upgrade from previous ver- 
sion or any vendor's file manage- 
ment program) 
Circle Reader Service Number 435 


A game buyer's dilemma: Ac- 
claim's Mortal Kombat or Mi- 
croLeague's Body Blows? 
It's a tough choice. They're 
both terrific, and functional- 
ly, they're the same game: 
Two fighters — one con- 
trolled by you, the other by 
the computer or a friend — 
square off toe-to-toe and try 
to beat each other's brains 
out. Bruce Lee would be 

The differences in the two 
are purely stylistic. Mortal 
Kombat — here superbly 
translated from the arcade 
smash — strives for realism, 
with digitally rendered warri- 
ors and enough blood to war- 
rant a warning label on the 
box. Body Blows, though 
not of arcade origin, em- 
ploys cartoonish characters, 
wham-splat fisticuffs, and 
more than a casual resem- 
blance to the popular Street 
Fighter II. Twin games in dif- 
ferent dress. 

In both, the combatants 
stand about half a screen 
tall and wage their battles in 
front of a variety of beautiful 
backdrops. Appropriately, 
MK's scenery is photoreal- 
ist, while BB's is colorfully 
painted. MK fighters are a 
bit on the mutant side, with 

The second release 
in the Amtex Pinball 
Classic Series of 
adaptations of real 
pinball machines, 
Royal Flush brings 
the experience of 
REAL pinball to the 

\ Jokers are wild in 
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delight as you try for your five 

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^v nine drop targets, three kick- 

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rollover lanes. Wide open, 

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• Two exciting ways to 
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• Authentic back box 
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your game for 3-ball or 
5-ball - even adjust the 
replay thresholds, incline 
and voltage. 

• Magnet Ball Mode. Use your mouse to 
activate a powerful magnet, then draw the 
ball around to explore game strategy at will. 



Look for Tristan™ and Eight Ball Deluxe™ 
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Circle Reader Service Numhor 9R1 



CH Products offers gamers quality joysticks, flight yokes, game- 
cards, and trackballs for all games and simulations. We've taken 
our line of IBM peripherals and expanded into Macintosh and 3DQ!" 
^ From advanced computer pilots and 
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CH Products lets you fly 
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names like Sub-Zero and 
Rayden, while BB's tend to- 
ward the street-punk variety. 
In both games, the charac- 
ters share a common set of 
moves — punches, kicks, 
flips, and so forth — con- 

translation from the arcade 
game; BB simply lacks 

Otherwise, these are two 
fun, playable games. (I'm go- 
ing to refrain from adding 
my two cents worth on the vi- 
olence issue.) If you enjoy 
the arcade version of Mortal 
Kombat, Acclaim's PC trans- 

Body Blows lets you practice kicks, punches, slaps, and backflips 
without hurting your friends or your computer 

trolled by the keyboard or 
joystick. To make things inter- 
esting, each character has 
his or her own powerful spe- 
cial moves which inflict 
more damage. When fight- 
ers take enough hits to com- 
pletely drain their energy, 
they're down for the count. 

Learning all the moves is 
part of the fun and chal- 
lenge. BB includes a handy 
three-sided stand-up refer- 
ence card displaying each 
character's standard and 
special moves. MK could 
use something similar, as it 
has more basic moves to 

The best way to play ei- 
ther game is with a friend, al- 
though with practice you 
should be able to beat the 
computer-controlled fight- 
ers. A second joystick is ide- 
al for two-player melees, but 
both games support joystick- 
keyboard combinations. MK 
supports four-button joys- 
ticks, while BB features elim- 
ination tournaments for up 
to eight players. 

Both games feature out- 
standing background mu- 
sic. What's missing is digit- 
ized sound effects — a satis- 
fying "heeyah!" with a kara- 
te chop or "thwack!" when it 
connects would be nice. 
MK lost these sounds in its 

lation won't disappoint you. 
If, on the other hand, you pre- 
fer the traditional arcade- 
style slugfest, Body Blows 
will go the distance for any 
budding brawler. 


Mortal Kombat 


Distributed by UltraTech 

(212) 941-1224 


Circle Reader Service Number 436 

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Circle Reader Service Number 437 


When I was in school, I had 
to write vocabulary words 
and definitions over and 
over again to memorize 
them. Today, students can 
be spared that tedium by 
playing Word Attack 3, a fun 
vocabulary builder from Da- 
vidson and Associates. 

Over 3200 words and def- 
initions help students from 
fourth grade through col- 
lege improve their vocabu- 
lary. Divided into seven cat- 
egories, the word lists in- 
crease in difficulty by grade 
levels. The most advanced 
categories help students pre- 

Circle Reader Service Number 260 

pare for the SAT and learn 
Greek and Latin roots and 

Although the package fo- 
cuses on five games, Word 
Attack 3's strength lies 
more in its ability to be an 
aid to teachers or parents. 
You can create custom 
word lists, not only in Eng- 

that will truly challenge the 
oldest students. 

Maze Game and Hat 
Game are action games. 
Maze Game has the player 
move M. C. along series of 
platforms, eating words, 
treats, and bugs. Hat Game 
challenges players to fire M. 
C. : s wild hats — ranging 

Word Attack 3 is a fun, action-packed way for kids to practice 
spelling and build their vocabularies. 

lish, but also in Spanish, 
French, and German. Print 
out certificates, tests, cross- 
word puzzles, flashcards, 
and word-search puzzles, 
saving yourself the hours it 
would take to create these 
study aids manually. You 
can even keep track of your 
students' progress onscreen 
and print out cumulative re- 
cords, helping you evaluate 
the class's progress. 

Your sound card lets 
Word Attack 3 pronounce 
all the words used, so stu- 
dents learn to say the 
words as well as read them. 
Even your customized lists 
will be pronounced during 
gameplay — and you can al- 
ter pronunciation of your cus- 
tom words if necessary. 

Three of the games use 
static screens. In Presenta- 
tion Activity, students un- 
scramble words that match 
definitions and are used in 
sentences. Tile Game has 
them match definitions to 
words on overlapping tiles. 
Correct matches make the 
words disappear; to win, a 
player must clear the 
screen before time runs out. 
Crossword Puzzle is played 
just like the pen-and-paper 
game; it's the only game 

from a Viking helmet to a 
Shriner's cap — through 
words whose definitions ap- 
pear at the bottom of the 

Children in the lower 
grade levels will be chal- 
lenged and entertained by 
all five of Word Attack 3's 
games. Older students, how- 
ever, may not find them as 
engaging, primarily be- 
cause the gameplay 
doesn't increase in difficulty 
as the word lists grow more 
advanced. If the action 
games would speed up, 
growing in tension as the 
word difficulty increased, 
even adults would be capti- 
vated by them. 

Still, Word Attack 3 offers 
a lot for the money. It will 
save teachers time prepar- 
ing tests and activity 
sheets, and students will 
spend hours having fun as 
they learn the meanings 
and usages of words. Word 
Attack 3 is a great way to 
learn new words, and it's a 
lot more fun than flashcards. 


Davidson and Associates 
(800) 556-6141 

Circle Reader Service Number 438 

imagine arriving at the lake as the morning 
mist starts to burn off the quiet waters. You 
stop at the bait shop to select your rod, reel 
and lures, thinking you'll try for some walleye 
this morning. You load the boat and consult 
your map. It's the end of August and its getting 
colder, the walleye will be feeding in shallower 
waters to prepare for winter. You remember a 
spot your fishing buddy told you about and set 
out. You arrive at the location, check your 
sonar and position yourself near the edge of 
that underwater shoal. The peaceful solitude is 
broken only by the waves lapping at the boat 
and the loons haunting call echoing across the 
lake. After a few casts, you feel a sharp tug 
and your rod bends suddenly towards the 
water, this must be the big one! With a quick 
jerk you manage to pull him towards the boat 
but he gets another burst of eiiergy and 
speeds towards the deeper water, it's a good' 
thing you had the drag set correctly on the rod! 
After a strenuous and exhausting battle you 
pull your quarry to the side and net him into 
the boat. What a beauty! You can't wait to get 
back and see your name proudly displayed 
the fishing lodge for all the other anglers to 
look at with envy. 

llui tLLLSiLCeLLL 

uzzes, "Mr. Jones, 

2:00 appointment is here." 

Introducing a new series of products 
from Amtex Software Corporation, the 
same company who brought REAL pinball 
to the computer! 

Now get ready to REEL the big one in 
with gone fishin' in an accurate 
simulation of the Bay of Quinte, 
a Northern Canadian fishing m 

For product information, 
send your name and address to: 
AMTEX Software Corporation 
P.p. Box 572, Belleville, Ontario 

(613) 967-7900 Fax (613) 967-7902 

• • 

Digital Fresh Water Fishing 

Circle Reader Service Number 262 


i it 






Are you tired of computergames where you get nothing but a high score 
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Computers can be marvelous tools for 
tracking the parts and pieces of our dai- 
ly lives. The programs themselves can 
make formerly tedious tasks such a 
breeze that the biggest difficulty now 





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■HsdC«i>o*fly '•>' 








« 'JoxM 





pa uttjsrcotr 

MS«>: 1 ft« t Ma* I'M 

At Home is a simple database that can 
help you organize household info. 

lies in keeping track of the disparate 
pieces of software you use to organize 
everything. That's the simple beauty of 
Ace Software's At Home household or- 
ganizer for Windows. Everything you 
need to collect, sort, and store the im- 
portant information in your life is here, 
smartly displayed in a series of integrat- 
ed databases. Learn to use one, and 
you've mastered them all. 

The package includes nine data- 
base categories, suitable for both 
household and home office use: Auto 
Maintenance, Trading Cards, Medical 
Records, Favorite Places, Personal 
Phone Book, Home Inventory, Video Col- 
lection, Music Collection, and generic 
user-defined collections. The only cat- 
egory without universal appeal is Trad- 
ing Cards, but who knows? This may in- 
spire you to start a collection. 

Items common to each database 
module include a top pull-down menu 
and associated icon toolbar with such 
functions as print, save current record 
to disk, move forward or backward, 
add or delete a record, search, and 
sort. Record searches let you specify 
one or more fields, while sort options al- 
low ascending or descending lists of 
up to three different fields. All modules 
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though you switch instantly between da- 
tabase modules, only one can be open 
at a time. 

Data entry is virtually identical in 
each module — simply a matter of sup- 
plying information in the predefined 
field boxes. In many cases where the 
requested information seldom varies 
from one record to the next, special 
drop-down lists appear to speed data 


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Circle Reader Service Number 265 

entry. These predefined lists are simply 
text files which can be easily changed 
or expanded. Some modules, such as 
the excellent Medical Records, contain 
additional screens for more detailed 
information on topics such as allergies, 
vaccination history, medications, and 
emergency instructions. Another fea- 
ture of selected modules is a scrolling 
name list, which functions as a hy- 
pertext index to related records. When 
new records are added, the lists are up- 
dated with appropriate keywords. 

Of the various modules, highlights in- 
clude Favorite Places, Personal Phone 
Book, Home Inventory, Video Collec- 
tion, and Music Collection. An index for 
restaurants, hotels, parks, theaters, or 
any number of special places you like 
to go, Favorite Places lets you make a 
note of rates, phone numbers, con- 
tacts, descriptions, distance, and de- 
tailed travel directions. Personal 
Phone Book also performs well as a 
contact manager, although the lack of 
a built-in autodialer is an annoying omis- 
sion. Home Inventory offers additional 
screens for maintenance and warranty 
info. Video Collection provides ample 
space for long movie descriptions, 
while Music Collection lets you not on- 
ly record song titles, but print rudimen- 
tary cassette labels; CD-audio support 

would have been nice. 

Suggested improvements for future 
editions of the program would include 
the ability to view report results before 
printing and the ability to multitask mod- 
ules. One of the advantages to the Win- 
dows environment is the ability to 
share and link data between different 
applications. This program won't even 
allow such freedom within itself. 
There's also no provision for importing 
or exporting data, either to a common- 
ly used database format such as DBF 
or as delineated ASCII files. In fact, be- 
yond wholesale deletion of records, 
there are no editing or Clipboard func- 
tions available. Finally, it would be 
nice for the designers to lift the hood 
on their database engine and incorpo- 
rate a simple field editor for construct- 
ing more personalized modules. 

At Home's strength lies in its effort- 
less learning curve and its diversity of 
design. You can find more complex 
and expensive free-form database pro- 
grams, but few that'll have you up and 
organized as quickly and efficiently. 


Ace Software 
(408) 451-0100 

Circle Reader Service Number 439 


If you've always wanted to tinker with im- 
age morphing but couldn't justify shell- 
ing out big bucks for a professional 
package just to satisfy your curiosity, 
check out MetaMorf. At $29.95, it's in- 
expensive, capable, and loads of fun. 

Morphing, as you probably know, is 
a computer-based technique that per- 
forms feats of graphical magic, smooth- 
ly changing one person or object into 
another. Remember Terminator 2, in 
which the T1000 transmogrified right be- 
fore your eyes? That's morphing. 

MetaMorf doesn't have that kind of 
power, but it can do some nifty stuff. 
You can generate an animation of one 
image morphing into another; warp two 
identical images to create exaggerated 
or distorted features; produce a single- 
frame morph cell which can be export- 
ed for use in, say, a desktop publish- 
ing package; or create a filmstrip of 
morphs with each frame of the anima- 
tion saved as a separate graphics file. 
(The most-fun application? Morph two 
photos of the same person, one as a 
child and one as an adult. Then watch 
the animated aging!) 

This mouse-driven DOS program is 
as simple to operate as it is to install. 
The top half of the screen is divided 

JULY 1994 COMPUTE 101 


down the middle, with the 
starting image on the left 
and the ending one on the 
right. The bottom half con- 
tains all morphing controls, 
which are intuitively ar- 
ranged and easy to oper- 
ate. Creating an animated 
morph is a snap: Load the 
two images (they must be in 
GIF or TGA format — a con- 
version utility is included), 
generate a matrix (a set of 
horizontal and vertical lines 
used to define specific mor- 
phing areas), and click on 
the Go button. Variables 
such as the speed of your 
computer, the number of an- 
imation frames you've prede- 
fined, and the resolution of 
the images dictate how 
long the process will take. 

The result? An FLI-format 
animation which may be 
viewed using a built-in utili- 
ty. The effects can be pretty 
neat, save for an unfortu- 
nate limitation to the FLI for- 
mat — its maximum resolu- 
tion is a grainy 320 x 200. If 
you create a morph using, 
say, 640 x 480 images, 
you'll wind up with a filmstrip 
morph that can't be played 
as an animation. 

Simple yet powerful, Meta- 
Morf is a great entry-level 
package for inquiring mor- 
phing minds. 


Villa Crespo 

(708) 433-0500 


Circle Reader Service Number 440 


Flight Sim Toolkit is an absor- 
bing and truly groundbreak- 
ing product that is a must- 
have title for every die-hard 
flight sim fan. Domark has 
combined a solid flight simu- 
lator engine with a collection 
of Windows-based tools 
that let you create or modify 

102 COMPUTE JULY 1994 

almost any objects and char- 
acteristics in the simulation. 
You can create your own 
planes to fly in, as well as 
custom worlds to fly over. 
Combine these with custom 
scenarios to create an infi- 
nite variety of flight simula- 
tion challenges for you and 
your friends. 

ly limited to the features 
Flight Sim Toolkit lacks. The 
ability to fly missions in tan- 
dem with computer-con- 
trolled allies is sorely 
missed. Experienced flight 
sim fans will also hunger for 
better artificial intelligence 
on the part of opponents. 
This shortcoming is particu- 

i ' Say* Ma-rixi 

MetaMorfs intuitive interface lets you easily create movie-style 
morphing animations from your images. 

There are five editors in- 
cluded in Flight Sim Toolkit: 
World, Shape, Color, Cock- 
pit, and Model. The World ed- 
itor allows you to lay out the 
topography of your simula- 
tion carefully, creating 
worlds as large as 25 million 
square kilometers. You're 
most likely to enjoy the 
Shape editor, which lets you 
create 3-D models of the ob- 
jects which will occupy the 
world. Flight Sim Toolkit 
comes with 144 such ob- 
jects to use and manipulate, 
everything from the requisite 
variety of military hardware 
to St. Paul's Cathedral. 

The remaining editors 
add depth and detail to the 
simulation. For example, you 
can use any bitmap as the 
basis for the cockpit design, 
then add working gauges 
with the Cockpit editor. You 
can even manipulate the aer- 
odynamic models used in 
the simulation with the Mod- 
el editor. 

My criticisms are primari- 

larly troublesome given that 
no modem play is yet provid- 
ed. (Domark promises head- 
to-head modem play in a fu- 
ture update.) Perhaps the 
biggest problem is the man- 
ual, which is shallow and 
vague; you'll learn more by 
just experimenting with the 
editors than by reading the 

The amount of control 
you have over your simula- 
tion is nothing short of re- 
markable—you can even 
have custom WAV sound 
files play when certain 
events occur. Flight Sim 
Toolkit supports both VGA 
and sharp SVGA graphics, 
but you'll need a fast 486 to 
enjoy the latter. 

Best of all. you can share 
your creations with others — 
Flight Sim Toolkit includes a 
runtime feature that lets you 
create stand-alone games 
that you can freely share 
with friends who may not 
own the program. Flight Sim 
Toolkit can turn any patient 

sim fan into a topnotch 
game designer. 



(800) 695-4263 


Circle Reader Service Number 441 


If you have a PC compatible 
and want high-quality art or 
image-editing software, you 
need Windows, right? 
Wrong! Before you nail the 
coffin lid on all DOS applica- 
tions, check out NeoSoft's 
NeoPaint 2.2, a powerful art 
studio for DOS 3.1 or higher 
that rivals many comparable 
Windows products which 
cost five times as much. 
From detailed photographic 
work to desktop publishing 
and fine arts, there's little 
this full-featured program 
can't do, at a price that will 
astound you. 

NeoPaint allows editing of 
multiple images in 2, 16, or 
256 colors, as well as gray 
scale, and supports Hercu- 
les, EGA, VGA, and Super 
VGA cards with image reso- 
lutions up to 1024 x 768. 
The program reads three 
file formats (GIF, PCX, and 
TIFF) and can easily convert 
images between any two col- 
or palettes, video resolu- 
tions, or formats, with spe- 
cial dithering options for col- 
or reductions. The main 
screen setup is attractive 
and intuitively arranged with 
a Windows-like interface, fea- 
turing pull-down menus, 
tool icons, resizable image 
windows, a scrolling color 
palette, and pattern fill and 
line style selectors. In addi- 
tion to 40 predefined fills, a 
simple pattern editor lets 
you create and save your 
own. Other goodies include 
a stand-alone screen cap- 
ture utility and a clip art li- 
brary of more than 100 full- 

To order ZEPHYR call (800) 325-8898. 

© 1994 New World Computing, Inc. ZEPHYR is a trademark of New World Computing. New World Computing is a 
registered trademark of New World Computing, Inc. All rights reserved. 


color stamp-brush images, 
with a built-in editor for mak- 
ing and saving new stamps 
of your own design. 

The wide array of draw- 
ing tools includes multiple 
brush shapes and point siz- 
es; an airbrush with adjusta- 
ble spray patterns; 2-D or 3- 
D scalable rectangles, cir- 
cles, pyramids, ellipses, and 
Bezier curves; a doner; and 
a color highlighter. This lat- 
est version of the program al- 
so adds some terrific natural 
media effects, such as char- 
coal, crayon, watercolor, 
smudge, and blend. Of spe- 
cial interest is the Fill tool, 
with its outstanding creative 
effects such as flood fill, pic- 
ture tiling, two-color gradi- 
ent, and color replacement. 
Image-editing tools are equal- 
ly numerous, including rec- 
tangle, polygon, and free- 
hand scissors; cut, copy, 
and clipboard paste; color 
eraser; multilevel zoom; un- 
do; and color sampling. 

Other effects, available 
from the top menu, can be ap- 
plied to either selected areas 
or entire pictures. These in- 
clude image flipping, rota- 
tion, distortion, skewing, ad- 
justable contrast, and user- 
defined color palettes. 
There's even an assortment 
of adjustable image-process- 
ing effects, such as blur, 
screen, pixelize, smear, 
fade, lattice, and streak. The 
program comes with 12 high- 
quality fonts, each available 
in multiple sizes and styles, al- 
though its overall text han- 
dling is limited. Also worth not- 
ing is the NeoPaint Pro Pack, 
available on both floppy disk 
and CD-ROM, that bundles 
this product with NeoShow 
Pro, an impressive DOS- 
based multimedia presenta- 
tion program. 

The product's few weak- 
nesses include an incredibly 
slow halftone printing utility 
and a far too narrow range 

104 COMPUTE JULY 1994 

of image file formats. Neo- 
Paint proves itself as a func- 
tional alternative to Win- 
dows, but that's no reason 
to exclude interactivity with 
a broader selection of im- 
age types such as BMP, 
WMF, RLE, DIB, or LBM. An- 
other problem is local ver- 
sus global image manipula- 

CI.T.Y. 2000 

C.I.T.Y. 2000: London isn't 
meant to be a comedy, but 
I guarantee you'll get a few 
laughs out of it. This is the 
Plan 9 from Outer Space of 
CD-ROM games, a graphic 
adventure that tries to take it- 
self seriously in the face of 

NeoPaint proves that you don't have to upgrade to Windows to 
create top-quality graphic images on your PC. 

tion, limiting the range of 
pattern fills, color replace- 
ment, and other special ef- 
fects to only the portion of a 
picture that's visible in the on- 
screen window. This forces 
you to scroll the image in 
the window manually, then re- 
peatedly reapply the effect 
in order to change the entire 
picture. It's both tedious 
and frustrating, especially 
when the editing must be pix- 
el perfect. 

NeoPaint 2.2 dazzles 
your senses without denting 
your wallet. Programs of 
this caliber prove the fu- 
ture's still bright for quality 
DOS-based applications. 


(503) 389-5489 
NeoPaint 2.2— $45 
NeoPaint Pro Pack— $99 

Circle Reader Service Number 442 

goofy acting and silly 

On the serious side, 
C.I.T.Y. 2000's premise of 
James Bond-style intrigue 
and espionage set on the 
streets of London seems in- 
teresting enough. Before the 
game begins, you're intro- 
duced to your character — 
American agent Jon Dar- 
ing — with an impressive five- 
minute video clip of his lat- 
est spy episode. 

Then the fun begins. 
While lounging in his spies- 
only flat, Daring receives a 
phone call summoning him 
to London. Apparently, evil 
drug lord S. Rooter has 
some nefarious plans for the 
city (the game's name is an 
acronym for City In Trouble, 
Year 2000), and Daring is 
England's first choice to do 
the thwarting. 

You assume his role upon 

arrival at Heathrow Airport. 
From there you'll do the stan- 
dard spy stuff: knocking 
around the city looking for 
clues, making contacts, drink- 
ing martinis, and so forth. 

Movement within C.I.T.Y. 
2000 is mouse-driven. The 
pointer becomes a left, 
right, or up arrow depend- 
ing on which area of the 
screen you move it to. Most 
of the screen is occupied 
by a digitized color photo de- 
picting where in London you 
are. ("Look, there's Parlia- 
ment! There's Trafalgar 
Square! There's the 
Heathrow snack bar!" This 
might make a good tool for 
travel agents.) The game is 
little more than a collection 
of photos interspersed with 
the occasional live-action vid- 
eo clip. There's virtually no 
interaction with any of the 
scenes— you simply point 
and click your way from one 
photo to the next. What's 
worse, continuity between 
scenes is lacking. It's easier 
to get lost in the C.I.T.Y. 
2000 version of Heathrow 
than in the real airport. 

At the bottom of the 
screen are game-control 
icons for picking up objects, 
examining your inventory, 
talking with others, mixing 
chemicals, etc. Whenever 
you examine an item, you're 
treated to a nifty 3-D anima- 
tion of the object and a ver- 
bal explanation of what it is. 

What might have been a 
clever, interactive romp 
through London ends up as 
a hard-to-follow game that's 
so goofy you might actually 
enjoy it. This game can't 
help but make you smile on 
occasion, as long as you 
don't try to take it seriously. 



(514) 737-8547 


Circle Reader Service Number 443 


Circle Reader Service Nu 

1994 New World Computing, Inc. ZEPHYR is a trademark of New World Computing. New World Computing b 
registered trademark of New World Computing, Inc. All rights reserved. To order ZEPHYR f call (800) 325-8898. 





XyWrite for Windows is an 
ambitious attempt to bring 
to Windows the speed, effi- 
ciency, and extensive type- 
setting capability of XyWrite 
for DOS. The program offers 
maximum configurability to- 
tal keyboard control, and all 
the professional word-proc- 
essing features of its major 
competitors — plus a few ex- 
tras of its own. But however 
much XyWrite for Windows of- 
fers, its delivery suffers from 
a rough interface and com- 
plexity inherited from its 
DOS ancestor. 

XyWrite is one of those 
DOS programs you never 
thought you'd see in Win- 
dows. It was designed to em- 
ulate Atex, the typesetting 
system used by many mag- 
.azines and newspapers, 
and it's never gotten away 
from two-letter commands is- 
sued from the command 
line. It was a good program 
in its day, offering speed 
and powerful word-process- 
ing features to those who 
took the time to learn the pro- 
gram and used it regularly. 
XyWrite for Windows has 
the potential for even great- 
er word-processing power 
than its predecessor, with 
new and enhanced features 
such as drag-and-drop edit- 
ing, text wrap, automatic cap- 
italization, automatic word re- 
placement, and redline edit- 
ing. It can handle complex 
sorts and mail merges, 
track in-text references to 
chapters and pages, and 
create fill-in forms. But the 
program is still based on 
those anachronistic two-let- 
ter commands. While men- 
us, toolbars, and dialog box- 
es can save you from some 
of the alphabet soup on the 
command line, you must 
memorize a number of the 

106 COMPUTE JULY 1994 

commands to truly under- 
stand the program and 
make full use of it. 

Working with the pro- 
gram, you get a strong 
sense that it hasn't adapted 
to its new Windows habitat. 
XyWrite's semi-WYSIWYG 
Graphic view definitely 
needs improvement. It dis- 

them go away. Formatting 
text to be overprinted by a 
graphic caused such an un- 
expected box to pop up. A 
minor file correction from 
tech support seemed to fix 
the problem for this review 
and allowed overprinting of 
type using the XyWrite print- 
er driver for the HP DeskJet 

GJ^_iel_li W \M 

-I File Edit View Format Praof \H*"> Advanc ed yyindow Help 



Graphic View Mode 

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ull&mcorper euscipit lobortis nisi ul aliquip ex ea eommodo eonsequat. 
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at accumsan at wsto odio tligrossim qui blandil pleasant luptatum nni 
delenil augue dujs dolore U feugait nulla facilisi. Larem ipsum dolor sit 
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ut eliquip ex ee eommodo eonsequat 

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sotute, nobis eleifcnd option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod} 


XyWrite for Windows is hampered by complexity and an awkward 
interface inherited from its DOS predecessor. 

plays TrueType and Type 1 
fonts, but it won't display jus- 
tified text or graphics over- 
printed with type. The 
screen is slow to respond 
when you hold down the De- 
lete or backspace key, mak- 
ing it easy to delete too 
much. Three non-WYSIWYG 
view modes — Page-Line, 
Draft, and Expanded (for 
viewing embedded codes) — 
use the Windows System 
font for faster typing and 
scrolling, but they're difficult 
to read. 

The interface seems unre- 
fined in some ways. Select- 
ing text with the mouse is hit 
or miss; the insertion point 
frequently jumps to the 
wrong character. Dialog box- 
es cause a number of annoy- 
ing glitches. They pop up un- 
expectedly, often with ob- 
scure messages, and it 
takes several clicks to make 

500. Using the Windows driv- 
er locked up the system. 

A problem with the pro- 
gram's installer may prevent 
import and export filters 
from being installed. 
XyWrite 4.11, an update to 
the first Windows release, on- 
ly partially solves the prob- 
lem, requiring some filters to 
be installed manually. But 
getting the filters installed is 
still only part of the solution. 
The Word and WordPerfect 
filters tested did import and 
export text, but the format- 
ting was consistently incor- 
rect. (Speaking of the next 
upgrade, the program des- 
perately needs an undo com- 

If you're currently using 
XyWrite for DOS and would 
like the familiarity of the com- 
mand line and embedded 
codes in a Windows word 
processor, XyWrite for Win- 

dows may be for you. But 
the quirkiness of its interface 
can be annoying, especially 

if you're familiar with other 
Windows applications. Un- 
less you're already a 
XyWrite fan, you should prob- 
ably consider one of the oth- 
er Windows word proces- 
sors that take less time to 
learn, have fewer glitches, 
and offer essentially the 
same features. 


The Technology Group 

(410) 576-2040 


$129 (upgrade from XyWrite for DOS) 

$149 (competitive upgrade) 

Circle Reader Service Number 444 


Budget gourmets of arcade- 
style logic puzzles are in for 
a special treat with this low- 
cost, entertaining release 
from Villa Crespo. Designed 
by 16-year-old Avery Pack, 
the game challenges you to 
guide the onscreen Element 
(a sphere) through a series 
of multiscreen mazes, collect- 
ing points while avoiding pit- 
falls and traps. The game fea- 
tures seven levels of increas- 
ing difficulty, comprising 
nearly 50 puzzle screens. 
Passwords let you begin at 
the last uncompleted level, 
while a vanity board records 
your high-score achieve- 
ments for posterity. 

The object of each maze 
is simply to work your way 
to the exit, maneuvering 
past one-way corridors, 
black holes, and locked pas- 
sages which require color- 
coded keys. Because each 
move drains your limited en- 
ergy supply, the game forc- 
es you to employ think- 
ahead strategy in order to 
survive. Although there of- 
ten appear to be multiple 
paths to choose from, red 
herrings and dead ends 
abound. Do you go for 


13-D rendered tanks 

and obstacles, 
i Intense combat action. 
iEasy to use keyboard, 

mouse, or joystick 

interface . 
IComplete network and modem 

support allow up to six human 

and/or computer players. 

ZEPHYR is the ultimate 3-D, futuristic tank simulator from 
New World Computing. Strap yourself behind the control 
panel of a state-of-the-art Zephyr battle craft and blast 
the competition to atoms. Pilot your Zephyr through subway 
systems, under water, and over alien landscapes as you vie 
for fame, glory, and corporate sponsorship. 

Circle Reader Service Number 255 

Available at your local software retailer or order direct from New World 
Computing at 1 -800-325-8898 (818-889-S6S0 outside the U.S.|, or fay mail: 
P.O. Box 4302, Hollywood, CA 90078-4302. 



ma computing, \m 

P.O. Box 4302, Hollywood, CA 90078 


points, grab some energy to- 
kens, or make a beeline for 
the exit? Actions taken— or 
not taken— in one maze of- 
ten determine your success 
in the next. The game ap- 
pears deceptively simple at 
first, but adds more puzzle 
objects and bigger mazes 
at higher levels. 

The game's only draw- 
backs are its overall small 
size and lack of replay val- 
ue. The publisher hints at a 
possible Elements II with a 
built-in puzzle construction 
set. Let's hope the sequel ar- 
rives — one taste of this brain- 
teasing delight will have you 
craving more. 


Villa Crespo 

(708) 433-0500 


Circle Reader Service Number 445 


Bargain hunters looking for 
a new printer are no longer 
forced to settle for a noisy, 
near-letter-quality dot-matrix 
printer. Ink-jet printers offer 
entry-level prices and near- 
laser-quality printing. Broth- 
er's new entry in this nas- 
cent low-end category, the 
HJ-400, is particularly flexi- 
ble, offering printer drivers 
for both Windows and the 
Macintosh and including 
both serial and parallel inter- 
face ports. 

It also includes what 
might be the world's most 
awkward sheet feeder. Ac- 
cording to the manual, you 
remove the printer's cover 
and the entire sheet feeder, 
flip levers, insert tabs in 
slots, and then reassemble 
the works every time you 
add paper. With practice, 
most of these steps can be 
skipped, but it's still trickier 
than it should be. Fortunate- 
ly, the rest of the printer is 
much easier to use. Switch- 

108 COMPUTE JULY 1994 




Elements is deceptively simple to play, but shares with Tetris an 
addictive quality that keeps you coming back. 

The Brother HJ-400 ink-jet printer sports a very small footprint, but 
it has an awkward sheet-feeder mechanism. 

ing from the sheet feeder to 
manual feed in order to 
print an envelope is a one- 
button operation, and the 
ink cartridge can be re- 
placed in seconds with no 

The HJ-400 has the 
sharp quality that's typical of 
most ink-jet printers. Its 360- 
dpi (dots per inch) output 
isn't noticeably sharper 
than 300-dpi output, but the 

extra resolution is a big plus 
if you use a modem to re- 
ceive faxes. Doubling every 
other dot of a 200-dpi fax 
page to render it on a 300- 
dpi printer makes for coarse- 
looking images, and the HJ- 
400's extra resolution really 
helps to smooth things out. 
Since it prints by spraying 
liquid ink on the page, an 
ink jet's print quality de- 
pends on the type of paper 

used: On thin or absorbent 
stock, the ink spreads, blur- 
ring the shapes of the char- 
acters. But Brother must 
have selected a very quick- 
drying ink — it isn't nearly as 
fussy about paper as some 
inks. Nor is it as prone to 
soak the page when you're 
printing solid black areas or 
to smear when you remove 
a freshly printed page from 
the output tray. 

The HJ-400 isn't exactly a 
speed demon — it barely man- 
ages one page per minute 
with graphics, a pace that 
some ink-jet printers can dou- 
ble. But with above-par 
print quality, a compact and 
attractive package, and a 
price that makes it competi- 
tive with middle-of-the-line 
dot-matrix printers, this new- 
comer deserves serious con- 
sideration. And it's a natural 
choice in households with 
both Macs and PCs. 



(800) 276-PRINT 

(908) 356-8880 


Circle Reader Service Number 446 




Like it or not, we live in an 
age of information overkill. 
Thanks to personal comput- 
ers and the so-called informa- 
tion superhighway, we now 
have easier access to more 
data than most people can 
possibly absorb. As a result, 
a new cottage industry has 
popped up that creates soft- 
ware that sorts, compiles, 
and presents portions of 
this data in a manner we 
can understand. Two excel- 
lent examples are Places Rat- 
ed Almanac from Para- 
mount Publishing and Info- 
Nation from Software Market- 

M L*(tHl 





These sensational computer games are FREE — a $150 
value — inside every GAME ZAP PER package! 

Prince of Persia® JetRghterll Spectre Challenger 

GAME ZAPl'ER turns your living room into a virtual reality 

gameroom by boosting your 

favorite PC games from your 

VGA monitor onto your 

big-sereen TV. 

GAME ZAPPER converts 

your PC's VGA output to a 

video signal and supports 

640x480 VGA resolution. 

So plug in GAME ZAPPER — 

your favorite games will be 

larger than life! 

by Broderbund 

by Velocity 

by Velocity 

Circle Reader Service Number 199 
ib-£ ADVANCED DIGITAL SYSTEMS 20204 State Rd. Cerritos, CA 90701 (310|865-I432 [310)809-6144 |Fax) |800|888-5244 


ing. Both products attempt 
to rate states and major met- 
ropolitan areas by quality of 
life. Whether you're looking 
to relocate your family, ex- 
pand your business, or sim- 
ply choose an ideal vaca- 
tion spot, these programs 
are the next best thing to be- 
ing there. 

Paramount's title, based 
on the best-selling book by 
David Savageau and Rich- 
ard Boyer, ranks 343 North 
American metro areas in ten 
basic categories: cost of liv- 
ing, healthcare, climate, job 
growth, housing, transporta- 
tion, education, crime, the 
arts, and recreation. The Win- 
dows-based program dis- 
plays the information using a 
variety of graphs, charts, 
maps, and text boxes. The 
program's main strengths are 
its clean presentation-style 
graphics and its easily under- 
stood interface. See at a 
glance where your favorite cit- 
ies rate in the ten categories, 
or select multiple locations 
for direct side-by-side compar- 
isons. You can also custom- 
ize a random search func- 
tion, rating the importance of 
each category, to produce a 
list of ideal locations. 

InfoNation takes a more 
academic approach to the 
ratings game, so what little 
this DOS-based program 
lacks in presentation, it 
makes up for with remarka- 
ble depth. The designers util- 
ized more than 40 govern- 
ment and private sources 
for their data, in most cases 
based on 1993 reports. In 
all, the product ranks 50 
states and 303 metro areas 
on more than 600 topics. 
You can display data in a 
number of ways. Quick 
Rank compares cities or 
states on a single topic. The 
results can be viewed as a 
list, a statistical map, or a 
bar chart. You can also ex- 
amine single states or metro 

110 COMPUTE JULY 1994 

File Map fcfo belp 

<nm i&i»hi I I I i M 

InfoNation © - Electromap, Inc. 1993-1994 

InfoNation is a DOS-based program that includes over 600 
statistics on 303 metropolitan areas in all 50 states. 

sis f l»as«-©^t©w 



Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC 



Category (Rank) Pefcer*aeRaling[1sla/=10%) 

Overall (19) 



Jobs ( 24) 


Transportation ( 58) 



Climate ( 58) 

Education ( 64) 




The Arts ( 67) 


Recreation (11 7) 



IB "'"'HI Ml 

Costs Of Living (135) 

Crime (184) 

Housing (197) 





■v ^ 

Health Care (208) 

♦ ♦<>*♦ 


The Windows-based Places Rated Almanac rates 343 metropolitan 
areas by cost of living, climate, and other characteristics. 

areas by any combination of 
available topics, from birth 
rates and building starts to 
nearly every imaginable sta- 
tistical dissection of the pop- 
ulace. Other notable fea- 
tures include excellent user- 
defined rank and filter set- 
tings, used by the pro- 
gram's search function to pin- 
point your special interests. 
Also included are hi-res top- 
ographic satellite maps, fea- 
turing four levels of magnifi- 
cation, and custom overlays 
showing state lines, cities, na- 

tional parks, rivers, lakes, 
and so on. Maps can be ex- 
ported in PCX file format, 
and most other information 
can be output to a printer. 

Both programs are per- 
fect for education, business 
marketing, and other areas 
concerned with social and 
economic research. 

Although ratings of quali- 
ty of life fluctuate almost dai- 
ly and category totals and 
percentages rapidly 

change, each product — par- 
ticularly InfoNation — pro- 

vides an overall analysis ac- 
curate enough to use in fore- 
casting trends and making 

The products tackle simi- 
lar topics, but from wildly dif- 
ferent angles. If you're look- 
ing for fast, generalized rank- 
ings and attractive presenta- 
tion-style graphics, Places 
Rated Almanac is sure to 
please. For those who are af- 
ter more detailed resource 
material, though, InfoNation 
is the better choice. 



Software Marketing 

(602) 893-3377 


Circle Reader Service Number 447 

Places Rated Almanac 

Paramount Publishing 

(800) 428-5331 


Circle Reader Service Number 448 


Before TrueType and Win- 
dows 3.1, quality fonts were 
expensive and hard to find. 
Now TrueType fonts are ubiq- 
uitous and available at bar- 
gain prices, but the quality 
varies greatly. Fantastic 
Fonts for Windows is a CD- 
ROM-based collection with 
365 TrueType quality fonts 
and 50 resizable borders. 
The borders aren't particular- 
ly impressive, but the font se- 
lection makes the disc a 
great bargain. 

Many of the fonts contain 
virtually full character sets, 
so you won't get into trouble 
if you suddenly need to 
print characters with ac- 
cents (on a resume, per- 
haps). With 134 serif fonts, 
77 sans-serif fonts, and 154 
decorative fonts, the collec- 
tion is all most would-be pub- 
lishers will ever need. 

The font collection in- 

1 -800-638-5757 

International Orders 1-317-878-5342 
FAX Orders 1 -31 7-878-4751 

MON-FRI Bam-IOpm SAT 9am-7:30pm SUN 12pm-6pm 


1 Bibles and Religion Hugos House of Horrors 
1 Clipart Warehouse Legal Guide 

Complete Bookshop MVP Game Jamboree 
1 Computer Ref Library Our Solar System 
Diets and Language Sound Sensations 
Encycl. of Sound 1 Techno Tools 
I Encycl, of Sound 2 Too Many Type Fonts 
1 Gardening Wii doware 
1 HAM Radio V3.0 World Traveler 


Classic Cartoons 

Caricature Clasieas 
» Tire Three Stooges Fest 

'" Gorzila vs. Megalon 
Night of the Living Dead 
Flash Cards Videos 
Hilaious Sports Bloopers 

1 Poriry Pig Cartoons 
1 Betty Boop Cartoons 
1 Bugs Bunny Cartoons 


9 OgtTZIpcx)de arectory 

Business Master 

Ccreer Opportunities 

Companion Bex Wrt terfect 

OectFhone NEW ! 

Essenttd Home &. Business 

lYigers for Wndows 

ReeRxro NEW ! 



North «Vnerlccn Fax Book 

Phone Osc USA Business 


QJcKbo Wndcws Debj-s 

SetectFhora NEW ! 

S 19.00 
Si 59.00 


Rjbfehrt3.0GUrt $49.00 

ReeiC8ps2 NEW ! $21.00 

SupertypeMasler Ubray NEW ! $15.00 

Tempra Access $ 1 2.00 

Tlmewxis Supertor* $12.00 

WbrtdofFlGjht $29.00 

VfcrldafTrarB $29.00 


^ccto Cpcce Series:) $29.00 

r\JdutxriBrasorMCTTirncfe $17.00 

Barney Bear School $12.00 

Barney Bear Space $12.00 

Barron's Book Nates $34.00 

Berft Thlnk& Toft 

Spcrtsh,French,Germcn,cf Hakn 


CD Cad 3.7 
Clprncster Fto 


Corel Professional Fhotos CD-ROM 

Royatty-Ffee, Many sufctect areas 


Doskrop FU3 Dream Disk 


Fcntozka Fonts & Sounds 

FcntcDcess Wncfcwe 

Fonts Tor Fto Fubfeher 

FrcctoJ Ecstacy 

GIFS Galaxy 


Jjjt Fonts 

ItocfcK Fhoto CD Access 


Mother Ecrth2 



SI 1.00 
SI 5.00 

Camen San Diego 
DlnosauTS MM Encyc 
Education Master 
BecWcfty & IVlaanetlsrn 
Lean Speak Spanish 
Learnrtg ^aWrtue 
Macmian DJct for ChJdren 
Mcfosoft Dlncsaurs 
Monarch Notes 
Nat Geog Marnmate 
Personal Traher tor the SATver.2 


Raying w/ Languaae; 

Intro games In Engbh, French, 

German, Japanese, cr Spanish 

$25.00 each 

Triple Ftay for ages 9 to adutt 

In Spanish. Engjsh and French. 

$49.00 each 

Octet Wfti Check, Money Oder. MSA MasterCard /Vnencan rjpr&ss Of CCO Qder by phone, m 
and Cancaa add S6.00 per CO-RCMSoffAcre order tor sfippng. Costs for shaping hardware, cr i 
" ;ates ate Una WtprodLCtsarBCO^ed^mcxxrfocruefc v*jTCTity ftfc&axlavola&HyCi 



5ftiOFtx* NEW! 

AO & D Roventoft NEW! 

Athur's Teacher Trouble 

Chess Maniac Nat Lampoon 


Curse of Enchanfla 

Dark Seed 

Cracuta Lhteoshed 

Dragon's Lar- PC 



Eric the LhreacV 

Fatty Beefs FJrthcay Sup. 


Gome Master 

Games 1993 

Gomewae Cotectlon 

Geetaccf Gcmes 

Glccd Explorer 



GUV Spy 


The Hoard 

House of Gcmes 

The Humans 

hctcna Jones Fate A^lcrrtls 


Jones In Fast lane 

Journeyman Ftoject 


r4xaoke Forty Fak 

Wrg's Qjest M 

labyrinth of Time 

L Bow2: Dagger Anon Ra 

Links Colectors 

Legend cfKyrancJa 

Lord of the Kings 



Manioc Mansion: DayTntcle 


Pacific Strike & Speech Pak 

PC SJG World of Games 


Ft4ceQjest4 NEW! 

Qjcrrtum Gate 

Race the Clock 



Return of the Fhcntom 


Sd-H Fantasy 

Scrabble DelLoss 

Secret \ujflwafle 

Seventh Guest 

Shaadv^caster NEW ! 


Space Qjest IV 

Star Trek Cotectlon 


Strike Commander w/Tcct M 

Termnator 2 Chess Wis 


Twdn's World 

vJdorNfectorrS; 'rondo 
Last Dlno Egg 
CyberplcBm Force 
$39.00 each 

Ultima 7 complete $49,00 

Ufflrna 8 & Speech Fat NEW! $55,00 

VKJeoCii» Space $19.00 

Who Wed Sam Rupert? S19.00 

Who Shot Johnny Rock? NEW ! $49.00 

Vtfy Beamish S15.CC 

V\^C5Vt»2XJtUharwld $64,00 

V*rtpack S42.00 

World arcuft $44.00 

World of XEEN S49.00 


SI 6.00 
SI 5.00 
S 19.00 
SI 9.00 
SI 9,00 


Bectronlc Home Library 
Greatest Books Cotectlon 
Great Mystery Classics 
Great Fdetry Classics 
Interccflve Storytrne VI 
IrTtereetivB Storyrtme V2 
IrfteractKe Storytlme V3 
Ubrcry of the Future 
Comp Works of Shakespeare 
Sherlock Holmes - Comp Works 


9000 Sounds 

999+ ,W*VFtes 

Ml Met Guide 

MM Beethoven 

Composer Qjest 

Dr Music lab 

Dr of Sound 

Grammy Awards 

Hot Sound avston 

IriiraCJcBlcci Music 

jazz History 

MDI Music Shop 

MS Musical Instrument 

Mcrosoft StrcMhsH 

Resource Ucrary AxJo 

Sound Effects Library 



Wbve Pod VUndow 

ADA Programming 

C Users Group Ub 

Cornpanlon for OE/2 

Dr OS/2 Gold 


Hoboes C&2 

Lan Master 

FYopjornmers ROM 

Resourco Ub Lang Cperatton 



Super Progrcmmer 


vrfuot Realty Starter Krt 



Mraatt EricyclopeoJa 

American Hertage Diet 

Audubon Bras or Mammcb 

Bible Ubray 



CompletB House 

Cornpton Inter EnoyctopeoJa 

Consumer IrTformatlon 

Cookbook Heawn 

Oct LMng World 

Hecing Fds Ek^Owkbook 

Bploring Ancient Achltecture 

Famly Doctor 


Front Row Baseball Cords 

Great Naval Battles 

Hacker Chronicles 

rtstory of 1he World 

Hot/ Bble & Christian Snware 

Home Designer DOS/WN 

htome rVoalcd Advbor Ro 


IBus Fac*:HowTniTgs W*k 

Mus Facts: How World Wfle 

S 15,00 
ST 5.00 

S 12.00 
S 13.00 
SI 7.00 
Si 4.00 
SI 5.00 


Si 9.00 
S 14,00 
SI 9.00 
SI 1.00 

SI 7.00 


JS New Ftague Cookbook 

King James Bble 

Languages of World 

Lesko's Info USA 

Map E*pert wjSIt A1lasuSA2 

Mayo CMC 

Mega Movte Gufcte 


Murmurs of Earth 

National Ftiks 

NewZealand Birds 

North American Indans 

Orford EJxftsh Ref Ub 


Ptent Doctor 

Frescrbt. Drugs 

Sporb iuBlrated 1994 /*nanac 

Street rttas USA 

Time Desert Storm 

Tony LaRussa Basebal 2 

Total BaseboJ 1993 

Mayo CMC's Total Heart 

USAStale Factbook 


USA Wore: Korea 

USA Wars: WM£ 

USA Wots: Metrxm 


vWeo Movie GUde 

\fclons of Sarum vaL 2 


Adventures In Heaven 
OCA Window 
Cornpanlon for Wlndowi 
Doctor cf Games 
Doctor of Shareware 1 or 2 
Megabyte Monster 
MghtCvJ12 h 

Original Shareware 

PC-SIG Wbrid of Gcmes 
FC^IG World of Education 
FOSK5 World of Window 
Shareware 93 
Shareware Heaven 
Shareware Heaven 2 
Shareware Srudo 3 
Shareware Supreme 
Software vautt Gold Col. 
Software Vautt Rathum 
Super CD3 
World of Shareware 


CD Speedway 
Jewel Cases 


Nautilus Mnl Subscrlptlcn 



Si 9.00 

SI 9.00 
ST 5.00 
Si 5.00 
Si 4.00 
S 12.00 
SI 2.00 



Many More Titles! 
Call for o FREE Catalog! 

ADULT Catalogs 
Now Available -FREE! 

»te there K no surcnarge fcr credl card orders, for the contiguous US .CD-RCM sofkwre shipping Is 55 00 per order {not life) c S 1 1 00 It C.QD Aosta Haw* Rjerto raco Meifco 
^elgn cotnmes rot mentioned, ore quoted at time oT order, mokrtc rei-dents creese odd 5% soles tot iMor lesponsiCe fcr rffographtco) errors. Hecse reseach jour prcdoct o. ' 
) change \-ithout notice Foreign orders, Faiorders. mcfl orders R£flEE include voUr VOCE phone* Thor* you fcr choosing Free Spirit Softv*re V* oppreciore your business 

Free Spirit Software, Inc. - 1-800-638-5757 - P0 Box 158 - 109 W Pearl Street - Trafalgar, In 46181 

Circle Reader Service Number 115 

Advertisers' Index 

Reader Service Number/Advertiser Page Reader Service Number/Advertiser 

124 Abacus 21 258 

244 Access Software 52,53 231 

242 Activision 89 257 

199 Advanced Digital Systems 109 178 

264 AIVR Corporation 116 241 

270 American Power Conversion 16,17 237 

261 Amtex Software 97 176 

262 Amtex Software 99 248 

America OnLine 49i 252 

267 AST Research Inc IFC.1 

137 Automap Inc 23 

166 BabyDoc 118 233 

113 Bare Bones Software 121 265 

Best Personalized Books 119 191 

173 Blue Valley Software 120 238 

Bon-Vue Enterprises 122 181 

260 CH Products 98 255 

250 CompSult 121 

CompuQuest 100 160 

Computer Business Services ,118 168 

225 Computer Friends 120 256 

204 Computer Gallery 121 221 

Comtrad 114 

125 Creative Labs 3 

D & K Enterprises, Inc 118 

161 Delphi Internet Services 51 

131 DemoSource 121 224 

145 DemoSource 116 271 

Disks O'Plenty 121 138 

251 DOMARK 85 263 

272 Electronic Arts 40,41 127 

134 Fantazia Concepts 121 129 

253 Fractal Design Corporation 7 212 

115 Free Spirit Software 111 

259 GEnie 65 

148 Groupware 116 

184 ID Software 73 116 

268 Imagination Network BC 109 

269 Interplay 77 210 

Page Reader Service Number/Advertiser 

J & H Services, Inc 122 

Jackson Marking Products 119 

Knowledge Media, Inc 121 

LACE 122 

Lucas Arts Entertainment 93 

Lucas Arts Entertainment 43 

Merit Software IBC 

MicroProse 59 

MicroProse 12,13 

Microsoft Press 44,45 

Mother's File Exchange 123 

National Claims Service 118 

Nature Company, The 101 

Needham's Electronic Inc 116 

New World Computing 103 

New World Computing 105 

New World Computing 107 

NRI/ McGraw Hill 33 

Origin 37 

Parsons Technology 25 

Passport 5 

PC Enterprises 121 

Penthouse OnLine 122 

Penthouse Modem 123 

Personal Image Systems 119 

Pierce Aviation 120 

Profit Group, The 117 

Quadra 71 

Ramco Computer Supplies 122 

ReadySoft Incorporated 54 

REG Publishing 123 

Rhotech Labs 120 

SafeSoft Systems Inc 120 

School of Computer Training 120 

School of PC Repair 119 

Serif PagePlus 15 

SeXXy Software 122 

Smart Luck Software 120 

Software Support International 117 

266 Software Toolworks 11 

Thoughtware 113 

112 U.S. Robotics 9 

146 Virgin Games 95 

172 Wedgwood Rental 120 

Windows OnLine 120 

Classifieds 125,126,127 

Product Mart 117,118,119,120,122,123, 

Windows Mart 116 

COMPUTE Books 125 

COMPUTE Free Windows Disk 27 

COMPUTE Library Case 101 

COMPUTE PC Power Disk 114 

COMPUTE'S SharePak 31 

OMNI Subscription 81 


Cover: Creative and digital photo illustration by 
Nexvisions— G. Fery; page 4: Mark Wagoner; 
page 14: Michael Simpson/FPG; page 18: 
Mark Wagoner; page 28: Mark Wagoner; 
page 29: Mark Wagoner; page 46: Kris Wiltse; 
page 66: Mark Wagoner; page 67: Rob Schust- 
er; page 68: Rob Schuster; page 70: Rob 
Schuster; page 72: Rob Schuster; page 74: 
Rob Schuster; page 76: Rob Schuster; page 
78: Mark Wagoner; page 82: Mark Wagoner; 
page 86: Mark Wagoner; page 90: National Aer- 
onautics and Space Administration. 





COMPUTE offers two different disk products for 
PC readers: the SharePak disk and PC Disk, 
SharePak is monthly and has a subscription 
price of $59.95 for 574-inch disks and $64.95 for 
372-inch disks. A subscription to SharePak 
does not include a subscription to the maga- 
zine. PC Disk appears in odd-numbered 
months and has a subscription price of $49.95, 
which includes a subscription to COMPUTE. You 
can subscribe to either disk or to both, but a 
subscription to one does not include a subscrip- 
tion to the other. 

112 COMPUTE JULY 1994 

New! Start Your 
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500 miles from nowhere, 
it'll give you a cold drink 
or a warm burger. . . 

NASA spaceflights inspired this portable fridge that 
outperforms conventional fridges, replaces the ice chest 
and alternates as a food warmer. 

By Charles Anton 

ecognize the ice cooler in this picture? 

Surprisingly enough, there isn't one. 
. What you see instead is a Koolatron, 
an invention that replaces the traditional ice 
cooler, and its many limitations, with a tech- 
nology even more sophisticated than your 
home fridge. And far better suited to travel. 

What's more, the innocent looking box be- 
fore you is not only a refrigerator, it's also a 
food warmer. 

NASA inspired por- 
table refrigerator. 

Because of space trav- 
el's tough demands, 
scientists had to find 
something more de- 
pendable and less 
bulky than traditional 
refrigeration coils and 
compressors. Their re- 
search led them to dis- 
cover a miraculous 
solid state component 
called the thermo-elec- 
tric module. 

Aside from a small 
fan, this electronic 
fridge has no moving 
parts to wear out or 
break down. It's not 
affected by tilting, jar- 
ring or vibration (situ- 
ations that cause home 
fridges to fail). The 
governing module, no 
bigger than a match- 
book, actually delivers 
the cooling power of a 
10 pound block of ice. 

From satellites to station wagons. 
Thermo-electric temperature control has now 
been proven with more than 25 years of use in 
some of the most rigorous space and labora- 
tory applications. And Koolatron is the first 
manufacturer to make this technology avail- 
able to families, fishermen, boaters, campers 
and hunters- in fact anyone on the move. 

Home refrigeration has come a long way 
since the days of the ice box and the block of 
ice. But when we travel, we go back to the 
sloppy ice cooler with its soggy and sometimes 

The refrigerator from outer space. 

The secret of the Koolatron CoolerPNarmer 
is a miniature thermo-electric module that 
effectively replaces bulky piping coils, loud 
motors and compressors used in conven- 
tional refrigeration units. In the cool 
mode, the Koolatron reduces the outside 
temperature by 40 degrees F. At the 
switch of a plug, it becomes a food warmer, 
going up to 125 degrees. 

spoiled food. No more! Now 
for the price of a good cool- 
er and one or two seasons 
of buying ice, (or about five 
family restaurant meals), all the 
advantages of home cooling are available for 
you electronically and conveniently. 
Think about your last trip. You just got 
away nicely on your long-awaited vacation. 
You're cruising com- 
fortably in your car 
along a busy interstate 
with only a few rest 
stops or restaurants. 
You guessed it... the 
kids want to stop for a 
snack. But your Kool- 
atron is stocked with 
fruit, sandwiches, cold 
drinks, fried chicken. . . 
fresh and cold. Every- 
body helps themselves 
and you have saved 
valuable vacation time 
and another expensive 
restaurant bill. 
Hot or cold. With the 
switch of a plug, the 
Koolatron becomes a 
food warmer for a 
casserole, burger or 
baby's bottle. It can go 
up to 125 degrees. 

And because there 
are no temperamental 
compressors or gasses, 
the Koolatron works 
perfectly under all 
circumstances, even 
upside down. Empty, the large model weighs 
only 12 pounds and the smaller one weighs 
just seven. Full, the large model holds up to 
40 12-oz. cans and the smaller one holds six. 
Just load it up and plug it in. On motor 
hips, plug your Koolatron into your cigarette 
lighter; it will use less power than a tail light. 
If you decide to carry it to a picnic place or a 
fishing hole, the Koolatron will hold its cool- 
ing capacity for 24 hours. If you leave it 
plugged into your battery with the engine off, 
it consumes only three amps of power. 

Limited time 

offer. Because Comtrad is bringing this offer 
to you directly, you save the cost of middle- 
men and retail mark-ups. For a limited time 
only, you can get this advanced, portable 
Koolatron refrigera- 
tor at the introduc- 
tory price of $99. 
Call today to take 
advantage of this 
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closing your account number and expiration date. 


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Midlothian, Virginia 23113 


eludes versions of the most 
widely used fonts — but un- 
der other names. Palmer is 
used for Palatino, for in- 
stance, since font names 
are copyrightable, although 
designs aren't. You can ei- 
ther use the new names, 
use a font-renaming utility 
(not included), or edit the 
[FontSubstitutes] section of 
your WIN. INI (be careful 
there). In any case, Fantas- 
tic Fonts for Windows is a 
great, inexpensive, consis- 
tent font source — and anoth- 
er good reason for owning a 
CD-ROM drive. 


Expert Software 

(800) 759-2562 


Circle Reader Service Number 449 


Comedy was one of the sub- 
tler rewards of Wolfenstein 3- 
D, but it seems to have 
rubbed off on the game de- 
signers at Rainmaker Soft- 
ware. They've imbued their 
Wolfenstein variation, Isle of 
the Dead (distributed by Mer- 
it Software), with a wonderful- 
ly sick sense of humor — it's 
a sort of hack-'n'-laugh 
game. Alas, like many come- 
dians, they ultimately find it 
hard to keep up the pace. 

You're the lone survivor of 
a crash landing and find 
yourself stranded on a free- 
scrolling beach supplied 
with whatever you can grab 
from the plane wreckage. 
Once you move inland — a 
matter of using a machete 
on the right parts of the scen- 
ery — you discover that 
you're the hottest thing on 
the island (literally) and that 
everybody wants a piece of 
you (again, literally). 

It's an unfriendly group oc- 
cupying the island. The 
blank-eyed kid asking "Dad- 
dy?" in an squeaky voice? 

He's a zombie. The Muscle 
Beach expatriate in Ray- 
Bans bawling "Bummer, 
dude!" as he goes down? 
He's a zombie. The head- 
less torso carrying its head 
as a weapon, and the fat 
guy with his guts hanging 
out like wind chimes? Urn, 
you get the idea. 

Of course, the zombies 
eventually get their pound of 
flesh, and we cut (gulp) to 
an animation in which you're 
ripped to shreds with the 
sort of unbridled, juicy enthu- 
siasm that's usually re- 
served for unwrapping pre- 
sents on Christmas morning. 
And that's what works best 
(and what your parents will 
like least) in this game: the 
over-the-top, grisly fun of put- 
ting these shambling comic- 
book horrors to the sword 
with a maximum dispersal ra- 
dius for bodily fluids. The 
graphics aren't fantastic, 
and I've heard better intra 
music out of 8-bit comput- 
ers. But this game is trying 
to evoke the mood of the 
old EC Comics horror mag- 
azines, and comic books 
don't require state-of-the-art 
specs to be fun. 

The developers have 
tried to go Wolfenstein one 
better by tossing in graphic- 
adventure elements. You 
have the ability talk to other 
characters, there's an inven- 
tory screen that fills up with 
objects to use, and there 
are segments in which the 
free-scrolling action-oriented 
environment gives way to 
square-by-square adventure- 
style movement. These are 
nice touches, but they're not 
integrated quite as well as 
they might have been. You 
hack your way through long 
stretches of jungle and cav- 
ern overpopulated with ene- 
mies who have little variety, 
and the game has a tenden- 
cy to descend into a bloo- 
dbath in which its previous- 

ly light touch (much like our 
hapless adventurer) is sim- 
ply overwhelmed by dead 
flesh. And by then, I'd al- 
ready stopped laughing. 


Merit Software 

(214) 385-2353 


Circle Reader Service Number 450 


Everywhere USA Travel 
Guide for Windows is a two- 
CD-ROM program that lets 
you plan trips anywhere in 
the country, but it unfortu- 
nately isn't complete 
enough to substitute for a 
printed guide. It's a good 
place to find basic travel ide- 
as, providing some interest- 
ing information in an easily 
accessible format, but it 
needs beefing up before it 
can be considered a com- 
plete travel planner. 

After selecting a state to 
search, you can look for 
items within a certain dis- 
tance of a town. The results 
are displayed as a list, a 

slide show, or a set of thumb- 
nail pictures. The default list 
mode presents a photo and 
caption on the left, with de- 
scriptive text on the right (in- 
cluding contact info). The lo- 
cater feature shows a map 
of the state, marking the cur- 
rent search radius, the ma- 
jor cities, and the location of 
the current item. 

You may limit the listing 
to specific categories, such 
as parks and forests, or cre- 
ate a custom search for cri- 
teria such as free admission 
or days and months open. 
You can set bookmarks, 
print textual information, and 
look at short promotional vid- 
eos. Unfortunately, while 
some of the visuals are 
great, many are ordinary or 
don't seem pertinent, while 
many towns I checked were 
missing pictures of major 

The program may im- 
prove if the publisher contin- 
ually updates and refines 
the information. For now, it's 
a useful addition to printed 
travel material. 


Deep River Publishing 
(207) 871-1684 

Circle Reader Service Number 451 □ 


Is there a hardware or software product 

you'd like to see reviewed in COMPUTE? 

Let us know by calling 

(900) 285-5239. 

The call will cost 95 cents per minute, 

you must be 18 or older, 

and you must use a touch-tone phone. 

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505 South Beverly Drive, California 90212. 

JULY 1994 COMPUTE 115 






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• Easy to use software, on-line help, 
full sceen editor 

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Suite 20 

Sacramento, CA 95838 

(Monday-Friday. 8am-5pm PST 



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FAX (916) 924-8065 

Experience Virtual 
Romance with Girlfriend 

Let'sface it, all the adult GIFs and 
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going to get old after you view 
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Wouldn'tTt be stimulating to tell 
her what to do and then see and 
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experience Virtual Romance with 
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Girlfriend Lisa (PG-13) $59.95 
Girlfriend Suzv (Adult) $59.95 
Girlfriend Ten PG-13 $69.95 
Girlfriend Teri Adult $79.95 
Girlfriend Speaks: voice output 
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1 • Super CD I, 2, & 3 (3 disk set 


1 • Super Games for Win. (3 disk set) | | 1 

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1 • Super Clipart 


1 • Halo Desktop Imager 


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1 • Super Programmer Src Code 


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1 • CD-Karaoke 


1 • Super Windows Shareware 


I • MidiSoft Sound Explorer 


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1 • Super Photo Bank 




4826 Tacoma Mall Blvd. 

Tacoma,WA 98409 

(800) 373-0628 Office or (800) 277-5179 FAX 


CD-ROM Drives $130 


Caddies $4.75 


All major credit cards 

Q m 



lany Other Titles & 

Call for a free catalog 

CDROM accessories 

FAX (206) 473-1634 

Office (206) 472-1400 

Circle Reader Service Number 191 

Circle Reader Service Number 148 

Mega Demo & Test \ ; 
contains 350 Megs 
of PC Shareware & PD 
software. Including Special ^~~~-~^^__ 
CD-ROM Benchmark and Test Utilities 
written by our programming staff, & NOT 
available on any other CD-ROM Discs. Our 
Special Test Utilities measure throughput 
as well as access time in a reliable and 
consistent manner for a meaningful 
real-world benchmark for CD drives. 
The Disc and Interface Software are y- 
fully functional (Even for BBS Use) and ~ 
not crippled in any way. When purchased 
separately Mega Demo and Test is $14.00 
plus $6.00 for S&H However for a Limited 
Time This Demo and Test CD-ROM Disc 
is Free with any CD Disc purchase. 

These are the Only Shareware & PD 

CD-ROM Discs with both a DOS, 

and a Windows 3.1 "Hypertext" 

Retrieval Interface. Plos All CD 

Discs are BBS Ready, and Include 

files.bbs plus our BBS Door with 

"Remote User" Mouseable 

Pull-Down Menu Interface. 

PROFIT PRESS, 824 E. Ft. Lowell, 
Tucson, AZ 85719 - Info (802) 770-0000 
FAX (602) 770-0005 - BBS (602) 770-0008 

The prices listed above do not include 

shipping and handling. Special shipping and 

shipping to foreign countries is available. 



4^cmOW ^indowsi 4%, 

e Spectacular 

. 650 Megs 1 Pius Gigs Uncompressed 1 
\ Our Newest in Trie Mega CD-ROM 
I Series. Contains Utiles of ATI Types, 
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PCGames. Grarjhies & Sounds 

Contains PC Games from Shareware 

Companies such as Apogee, and Epic. 

plus many many others. Game Bytes 

Electronic Magazine, with file categories 

that include Arcade, Adventure, Puzzles. 

Mind & Strategy. War Games, Card 

Games, RPG Games. Plus 256 Color 

GIFs. FLI's of all types & Includes Sound 

Res, .MOD, .ROU. WAV &.VOC 



Caddies $3.50 
each with 

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The Disc Ccrtaris Hacking Phreaking, Tone Box IrformaJica Anarchy, 
SubaJure. Mage Internet & Computer Security Secrets, Bomb Plans, 
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Circle Reader Service Number 224 


Your Reliable Source of IBM/PC CD-ROM Software At Rock-Bottom Prices! 


7th Guest $33.95 

Choas Continuum $20.95 

Dagger of Amon/Laura Bow 2 ... $22.95 

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Dune $26.95 

F-15 Strike Eagle 3 $19.95 

F-117A Stealth Fighter $26.95 

Games 1993 $20.95 

Golden Immortal $14.95 

Gunship2000 $19.95 

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King's Quest 5 $17.95 

King's Quest 6 $22.95 

Legend of Kyrandia $21.95 

Mad Dog McCree $23.95 

Maniac Mansion 2 $27.95 

MVP's Game Jamboree $9.95 

Secret Monkey Island $15.95 

Secret Weapons Luftwaffe $15.95 

Sirius 5 Foot 10 Pack $33.95 

Space Quest 4 $17.95 

Star Wars/Rebel Universe $46.95 

Stellar 7 $20.95 

Tornado $26.95 

Willy Beamish $15.95 

Wing Commander 1/Ultima6 ...$20.95 

Wiz-Pak 6-Pak $1295 

Wrath of Demon $17.95 


Arthur's Teacher Trouble $19.95 

Barney Bear/Space $12.95 

Barney Bear School $12.95 

Carmen Sandiego - World $22.95 

Comptons Multimedia Enc $31.95 

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Ecoquest $25.95 

Family Zoo $19.95 

Fatty Bear's Fun Pack $20.95 

Just Grandma and Me $25.95 

Kids Zoo/Undersea Adven $23.95 

Mammals $21.95 

Mother Goose, Mixed Up $14.95 

Our Solar System $9.95 


Colossal Cookbook $9.95 

Computer Reference Library . $9.95 

Cookbook Heaven $14.95 

Dictionaries & Languages $9.95 

Family Doctor $19.95 

Gardening $9.95 

Guinness Records 1993 $14.95 

Hacker Chronicles $24.95 

Mayo Clinic $19.95 

Microsoft Bookshelf $32.95 

Pro Phone 1993 - 4th Quarter ... $59.95 

Sci-Fi Fantasy $20.95 

Time Almanac/ 1990 $14.95 

Total Baseball 1993 $19.95 

World of Trains $25.95 


Corel Draw 3.0 $49.95 

Gifs Galore $18.95 

Home Designer $29.95 

Publishers Paradise Pro $29.95 

Too Many Typefonts $9.95 


Encyclopedia of Sound $9.95 

Encyclopedia of Sound v2 $9.95 

Sound Sensations $9.95 


Precision Mapping $69.95 


CICA Microsoft Windows $13.95 

Windows 1993 $20.95 

Windows Master $17.95 

Winplatinum $12.95 


Bible Library $22.95 

Bibles & Religion $9.95 

Holy Bible & Christian SW .... $16.95 


CD Caddies $5.95 

Ham Radio $9.95 

Kodak Photo Access $19.95 

Midi Music Shop for Windows .$16.95 

Multimedia Platinum $9.95 

Night Owl Vll $28.95 

PC Sig Library V13 $21.95 

Shareware 1993 $16.95 

Shareware Explorer (4 CD's) $34.95 

Shareware Overload Trio $19.95 

So Much Shareware 3 $19.95 

VGA Spectrum 2 $15.95 


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Wicked W/Kodak -XXX $39.95 

Rimfire Pacific - XXX $19.95 

Sexiest Women on CD - XXX ... $19.95 

Strip Poker Int. - XXX $21.95 

Super Smutware - XXX $20.95 

Swimware 1993 - $20.95 

T & A 2 the Maxx - XXX $15.95 

Traci, I Love You - XXX $19.95 

Tropical Girls - XXX $16.95 

Women of Venus -XXX $20.95 




Major Credit Cards Accepted 

U.S. residents of 48 Stales - add S5.50 per order lor ground 
shipping. All others may call for shippingcosts. Call or write 
for our latest free catalog . Software Support International 
2700 Andresen Rd."#A-10 Vancouver Wa. 9o661 

Circle Reader Service Number 210 

FREE 486 Computer 
Color Monitor, Printer 

You can earn $2,000 to $10,000 per month from 
your kitchen table providing needed services for 
your community. Computer Business Services 
needs individuals to run a computer from their 
home. If you purchase our software, we will give 
you a FREE 486 computer, VGA color monitor, 
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success rate is the talk of the computer industry. Call or write for a free 3 hour 
cassette tape and color literature and find out how easy it can be for you to 
earn money in your spare time and help your community. Begin part-time and 
still retain the security of your present position. 

Call toll-free: 

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(in Indiana: 317-758-4415) Fax to: (317) 758-5827 Or Write: 
Computer Business Services, Inc., CBSI Plaza, Ste. 303, Sheridan, IN 46069 

FREE CBSI 486 Computer 

Work At Home & 
Be Your Own Boss 

Electronic Claims Processing 

"One of the 10 Hottest Businesses for 1994" 
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National Claims Service offers the 
most complete package available, 
including a 2 day training seminar, 
video training courses, software and 
a professional start-up package. 
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Circle Reader Service Number 233 


On call for your child 24 hours a day 

Software to keep children healthy 


Medical History 
Insurance Info. 
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Medical Reports 


IBM Compatible 


Lead Poisoning 


500 Diseases 

Read up on 
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• With our process and a computer you can instantly produce the highest 
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• Very simple to operate and highly profitable. 

• Only a limited number of dealerships available. 

For a complete information packet call today. 



Circle Reader Service Number 166 



Who says there's no such 
thing as easy money? 

J) ince so many of you requested 
information on a solid business 
opportunity, we began to investigate the 
business opportunity marketplace. One 
company that stood out from the crowd 
in so far as a clean track record of 
satisfied distributors and a unique 
product line is located in Bristol, W 

The fun about this opportunity is that you 
can operate it from the convenience of 
your own home. Some distributors 
operate the business just a few hours a 
month while others are operating full 
time. However, they all have one thing in 
common, and that is the ease in which 
sales are made because of the products 
broad appeal. 

Consumers everywhere realize the need 
for sensible products and/or services. 
Distributors profit by filling those needs. 
What really impressed us was the fact 
they only allow 2 active distributors in 
each telephone area code, so as not to 
create competition between distributors. 
When dealing with this company you 
will get the straight facts with no 
runaround. If you're currently in search 
of a Golden opportunity don't let this one 
pass you by. The minimum investment is 
only S299 plus SS-H. 
Even if you have never sold anything 
before, or don't like sales, you could be a 
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services are so well accepted by the 
public. Best of all depending upon which 
distributorship package you choose you 
will receiveTV commercials, stand up 
displays, color brochures, radio 
commercials and a Confidential Stategies 
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mail order ads. telemarketing scripts, 
direct mail cards and much more. In 
addition, you may call upon the company 
for help and assistance as often as 

Order their Free Starter Kit and 
Judge for yourself. 


If you cant make $200,000 
your first six months with this 
opportunity, perhaps you 
should think again about 
starting your own business." 

Make Money With A Computer 

Own a lifetime license for a patent to make a 
product that will please adults, delight and educate 
children, and return high profits on a minimal 
investment. That's the sure-fire success formula that Best 
Personalized Books, Inc. offers to distributors who are 
building strong, easy to run, highly profitable businesses. 

As the leader in the industry Best Personalized Books, Inc. is 
partners with such high profile companies as Walt Disney 
for their all time favorite Disney characters, Mattel Toys 
for Barbie, Warner Brothers for Bugs Bunny and the 
Looney Tunes and the National Football League for the 
Super Bowl and NFL teams and logos. 

By teaming up with these world renown companies, 
Best Personalized Book, Inc. makes it possible to produce 
products with name recognition that almost sell themselves. 

Personalized books are instant favorites because the 
child is the star of each story. An extensive array of titles 
appeals to a wide range of ages and tastes and includes 
well-written stories on religious and erhnic themes that 
reinforce family values. 

No computer experience is necessary to create a 
personalized book. With Best's strong marketing program, 
you'll find selling options are limitless. You can run a 
profitable mail order business from home, set up on 
location at malls, craft fairs and flea markets, or team- up 
with fund-raising groups to promote literacy. 

Strong dealer support is a priority. To help you make 
even bigger profits, Best offers other personalized products 
including clocks, audio cassette tapes, birth announcements, 
calendars and stationery for teens and adults. 

for A Smlllmestmnt, Start A Business Creating Personaked Books 

Best Personalized Books, Inc. ^S,!?^ 

Best Plaza • 4201 Airborn • Dallas, TX 75248 FREE DOOK atld Kit 

Aladdin, Mickey Mouse, NFL Super Bowl, NFL Teams and Logos, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, 
Sylvester, Tweety, Porky Pig, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Winnie the Pooh, Barbie, Bugs 
Bunny and The Looney Tunes are trademarked properties. The president of Best Personalized 
Books, Inc. owns US Patent 5,213,461 to produce personalized books with a computer. 


yj^o^" for your own use or a 
* profitable sideline business 

Self-Inking and traditional 

knob handle stamps can 

be made for less than $1. 

Retail prices will start in 

the $10+ range. 

Informational signs, nameplates, 

control panels, name badges, 

and hundreds of other signage 

items can be made for pennies 

per square inch. 

Complete systems are less than $2,000 


Brownsville Rd., D-200, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864 
Phone: 800-STAMPCALL Fax: 800-STAMPFAX 

■ Be a computer 
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. Age_ 


. Phone( L 

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Bussiness Advisory Council 

Circle Reader Service Number 231 


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Copies of articles from 
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(continued from page 128) 
work techniques under devel- 
opment at the Georgia Insti- 
tute of Technology in Atlanta 
are helping identify previous- 
ly unrecognized patterns and 
risk factors gleaned from re- 
cords of aircraft accidents, 
hazardous-waste spills, epi- 
demics, and other large data 
sets. "A neural network can 
see correlations we never 
knew existed," explains 
James A. Mahaffey, a senior 
research scientist at Georgia 
Tech. "It can see weak con- 
nections among thousands of 
different data types, whereas 
a human being can really on- 
ly visualize a dozen 
I at most." Identify- 
ing and under- 
standing unrecog- 
*^^ nized patterns will im- 
prove aircraft safety and 
speed disease identification 
as well as provide more accu- 
rate predictions of consumer 
demand. In one experiment us- 
ing data from 17,000 aircraft 
crashes, Georgia Tech's neu- 
ral network correctly predict- 
ed whether an aircraft would 
burn upon impact 70 percent 
of the time. 

Go the Recycled Route 

Even though laser printer pric- 
es have come down, you can 
suffer a real shock when it's 
time to replace your toner car- 
tridge, with prices hovering be- 
tween $70 and $100 for a 
new one. For about half that, 
however, you can go the recy- 
cled route. Instead of ditching 
your empty cartridge, you 
send it away to a recondition- 
er to be cleaned, adjusted, lu- 
bricated, and refilled. The car- 
tridge is then returned to you 
within a 10- to 20-day period 
to be used again. You can al- 
so save anywhere from 30 to 
50 percent by buying a reman- 
ufactured cartridge that's 
been completely disassem- 
bled and remade for reuse. A 
bonus: Since the process in- 

cludes replacing the drum, 
some remanufacturers prom- 
ise print that's clearer and 
darker than that from your orig- 
inal cartridge. For more infor- 
mation on helping the environ- 
ment by using recycled 
cartridges, contact Quill, 100 
Schelter Road, Lincolnshire, Illi- 
nois 60069; (708) 634-4800. 

Electronic Newspaper Delivery 

How about some coffee with 
your morning computer — er, 
paper? Actually, it's the same 
difference now that the Ameri- 
can Cybercasting Corpora- 
tion (ACC) of Cleveland, 
Ohio, has developed a new In- 
ternet-based electronic news 
service. Anyone with an In- 
ternet-connected E-mail ac- 
count can receive electronic 
home delivery of newspapers, 
including USA Today, the 
Moscow News, and many oth- 
ers. Once you sign up for the 
service, the newspaper be- 
gins appearing at your E-mail 
box each morning in ASCII 
form. For educational institu- 
tions, numerous publications 
are available, including the 
Washington Post, the Washing- 
ton Times, the Jerusalem 
Post, the Los Angeles Times, 
Forbes, and others. For more 
information, contact American 
Cybercasting by phone (216- 
247-0770) or via E-mail 

Color-coded Floppies 

From now on, you can store 
your tax files on green flop- 
pies and your word-process- 
ing files on blue ones. Or may- 
be you prefer red, yellow, or 
orange. The point is that 
Maxell has a new line of Pre- 
formatted 3 1 /2-inch floppy 
disks in five colors — yellow, or- 
ange, green, red, and blue — 
that should make your task of 
organizing files on floppy 
disks a lot easier. In addition, 
Maxell's design incorporates 
its patent-pending Flex-Shut- 
ter — a flexible, shock-resistant 

shutter mechanism that won't 
pop off if you drop the disk or 
subject it to other shocks. The 
suggested retail price for a 
box of ten is $20.30 for high- 
density format or $13.70 for 
double-density format. 

The Wisdom of WorkWise 

There's a new American mot- 
to these days: Sue for Damag- 
es. And although not all law- 
suits are unjustified, small or 
fledgling businesses are 
faced with the need to pro- 
tect themselves from those 
that are. New from Paradigm 
Software is WorkWise Employ- 
ee File, a Windows-based em- 
ployee data management sys- 
tem for gathering and organ- 
izing employee information 
necessary for protecting you 
and your business from wrong- 
ful termination and discrimina- 
tion suits. Although the pro- 
gram can be incorporated in- 
to the human-resource pro- 
grams of large corporations, 
WorkWise was designed for 
small-to-medium, home, and 
start-up businesses and is 
priced accordingly ($395). Em- 
ployers can track employee 
profiles, injuries, time off, train- 
ing, certification, benefits, 
and more. The program also 
lets you compile overviews to 
show trends, profiles, and at- 
tendance patterns for employ- 
ees. Contact Paradigm Soft- 
ware, 2510 Western Avenue, 
Suite 500, Seattle, Washing- 
ton 98121; (206) 728-2281, 
(206) 728-8401 (fax). 

Companies, publicists, or pub- 
lic relations firms with prod- 
ucts or services of interest suit- 
able for "News & Notes" 
should send information 
along with a color slide or col- 
or transparency to News & 
Notes, Attention: Jill Champi- 
on Booth, COMPUTE, 324 
West Wendover Avenue, 
Suite 200, Greensboro, North 
Carolina 27408. □ 

124 COMPUTE JULY 1994 



The All-New Strategy Guide 

for Building Prosperous Cities 

Includes 3.5" Disk 

Jason R. Rich 

Whether you play SimCity 2000 on a 
PC or a Mac, here's the book you need 
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Author Jason Rich explains each 
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T t J J Rush me my copy of the book/disk combina- 
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□ PC disk □ Mac disk 



City Slate ZIP 

Copies at $2 1 .95 each $ 

Shipping and handling $2.50 

NY, NC, NJ please add sales tax 

Canada please add $1 .54 GST per book 

Total Due 

Please check the form of payment 

□ Money Order □ Check □ VISA □ Mastercard 

Credit Card Number 

Expiration Dale 


Mail this coupon along with the payment to: 
324 West Wendover Avenue 
Greensboro, NC 27408 

For faster service, fax your credit card order to: 


All payments must be made in US funds drawn on a US 
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Speaking Devices Corporation 

3671 Enochs, Santa Clara, CA 95051 

Tel. r408)431-9200 Fax (WH8 1-9206 

Circle Reader Service Number 329 



Sanyo. Tadiren, Panasonic, Eveready, Gates. Lithium, 
Lead Acid, Nl-Cad, Alkaline & Chargers. We Stock 
batteries for laptop/notebook. Camcorders, cordless 
phones, drills, Norelco shavers. RC Cars & invisible 
Fence. Call & ask. Wholesale! MC/VI/PO 

Battery Express 

713 Gladstone St., Parkersburg, WV 26101 
1-800-666-2296 Fax: 304-428-2297 

Circle Reader Service Number 333 


BILL $ 100,000 A YEAR 



BBS 407-547-8759 



407-585-7354 FA\ r 407-547-l"03 


30 CORNELIA STREET #14R NY, NY, 10014 


Join the World's Largest Travel Industry as one of our 
associates. Work at home or office, full or part time, travel 
discounts. You'l! be the boss. You can be On-Line with 
airlines, hotels, car rentals and more. FUN, PROFITABLE 
& LOW OVERHEAD. Start immediately for only $2500. 

Traveler's Choice can for /wee brochure 
Associates 1-800-446-0096 

Circle Reader Service Number 325 





* Ace Products a 

1-800-234-0726 * 

Circle Reader Service Number 321 


$AVE! $AVE! 











Circle Reader Service Number 339 


Circle Reader Service Number 336 


Converters & Accessories 



All Major Brand Names • Lowest Prices!! 


Add-On Cable Co. 1-800-334-8475 J 

Circle Reader Service Number 320 




Why Pay A High Monthly Fee 7 
Save $100's A Year 

• All Jerrold, Oak, Hamlin, Zenith, 
Scientific Atlanta, and more. 

• 30 Day Money Back Guarantee 

• Shipment within 24 hours 

• Visa/MC and C.O.D, 

No Illinois Orders Accepted 

Purchaser agrees to comply with all slale and 

lederal laws regarding private ownership of cable 

TV equipment. Consult local cable operator 

1430 Miner Street, Suite 522 
Des Plaines, IL60016 

Free Catalog 1-800-542-9425 
Information 1-708-540- 1 106 

Circle Reader Service Number 323 

• Jerrold® • Oak 

• Zenith • Hamline 

• Tocom • Pioneer 

• Scientific Atlanta 



3584 Kennebec, Eagan, MN 55122 



Circle Reader Service Number 338 


1541/1571. SX64, 128D & Amiga. Selling DTK-comp 
computers. Quick service-30 day warranty 
MOM & POP's Computer Shop. 1 14 N. 16th, 
Bethany. MO 64424 (816) 425-4400 




RUSSIBn LadieS, truly beautiful, educated, 
are sincerely seeking relationships. 
1000 Ladies selected from over 25,000. 



Dept. 178 ■ P.O.B. 886851 ■ Atlanta, GA 30356 

Fa< 404-451-5774 

Phone (404) 458-0909 24 HOURS 


Circle Reader Service Number 318 



(holtlocks. doorlocks. & some padlocks i 

Amaze Your Friends 
With A Lock Picking Demonstration. 

Oi You get 3 sized metal tension keys, the slide 
(pick, precise instructions & more. Note: this 
'device is to be used Tor demonstration 
purposes only! Satisfaction Guaranteed or 
Full Refund; 2 weeks delivery. 
To get this exciting device. Send Now ONLY S8.95 + S2 S&H to: 
, Sale Marketing * 90 W. Montgomery Av Nft38SE * RockvOe Md 20850 „ 

Closing date for August classifieds 

is May 15. 

Call/Fax your ad (516) 757-9562 


& CD's for IBM 

Same Price for 3.5" or 5.25" 

Shipping & Handling: $2/order 



F-PROTKT SUPERB Virus scanning/cleaning. 
SCAN McAfee's Latest Virus scanner. 

We will ihip molt recent vertion available! 




BIG ITEMS $2 on DSHD only! 


MONSTER BASH Catacomb Abys. ZONEfr 
KENSLAB (386 only) DUKE NUKEM II (386, VGA) 
ANDROID Epic's Pinball Sensation! (386, VGA) 
DOOM Super Wolttd type (386,VCA,4Mb,HD) $4 
RAPTOR Apogee's Space Action (386,VGA,HD) $4 


A few of HUNDREDS of titles available 
PC-SIG 13 $22 WTNDOWARE $13 

SWIMWARE 1993 $20 House of Cames $15 

Current SliWr 1994 $23 SUPER GAMES-DOS $12 

HOLY BIBLE and Christian Shareware $17 

CD-ROM Caddies $4.75 MAYO CLINIC $19 

We have Adult titles: Proof of age required. 

CbmPro Software 
248 W. Park Ave. Suite 356 
Long Beach, NY 11561 




Computer BBS 14.4, Internet Access 


•Regular Long Distance Apply 



PC users needed. 

$35,000 potential. Details. 

Call (1) 805 962-8000 Exl. B-30033 

Computer Electronics/Bookkeeping position in Nassau Coun- 
ty, NY. Will send resume request. Immediate Employment. 
RN, 73 Whitehall Blvd. Garden City. NY 11530. 



$.99 PER (5.25) DD PH. TOLL FREE 1-800-755-6795 



business and adult .99 per 5V4 low density, 
virus free disk, 3'/2 also available. Free catalog. 
Ro-lin's, P.O. Box 516cp, Grove City, OH 43123 

Circle Reader Service Number 344 



Software - Hardware - Systems 


Translators -Tutorials -Fonts 
Dictionaries -Word Processors 
Spell Checkers - Keyboards 

Best Prices-Best Source-Best Service 


Use Any Language In All 
English Windows Apps $79 

English-Japanese Dictionary $29 
English-Chinese Dictionary $29 
English-Spanish Translator $39 
LTGOLD Russian Translator $179 

FREE multimedia Catalog 

486 DLC-40 LOADED $645 

FAX/MODEMS 14.4 $89 !!! 

Discounted Software 

WinFax $9 I'rucomni Plus $59 
TransLanguaae Inc. Fax71 4-998-1 296 

Circle Reader Service Number 342 


COMPUTER TOO OLD? Save Money, Upgrade your 
XT/AT! $149-386/40, $249-486/33. Complete Kit. 
Easy Instructions. 1-800-362-5053. CompuBoost. 
27101 Aliso Crk Rd, #124, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 

ICA Software 


Highest Quality 
Lowest Price 

fwiiai*aiit,<*f»d ! ! 

Free Catalog 

P.O. BOX 1011-354 Trumbull, CT 066 11 

Circle Reader Service Number 322 




A PC compatible menu driven guide to some of 
the best bargains in the world! Easy to use! Auto- 
matically prints a letter to any source in the data 
base. A wealth of info! Only $19.95. Free air exp- 
ress shipping! YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED! 
Order: 800-357-0187 Info: 310-285-5525 

Circle Reader Service Number 327 

COMPUTE Classified is a low-cost way to tell 
over 275,000 microcomputer owners about 
your product or service. 
Additional Information. Please read carefully. 
Rates: $40 per line, minimum of four lines. Any or all of the 
first line set in capital letters at no charge. Add S15 per 
line for bold face words, or $50 for the entire ad set in bold- 
face (any number of lines.) 

Terms: Prepayment is required. We accept checks, mon- 
ey orders. VISA, or MasterCard. 
General Information: Advertisers using post office box num- 
ber in their ads must supply permanent address and 
telephone number. Orders will not be acknowledged. Ad 
will appear in next available issue after receipt. 


Classified display ads measure 2V«"wide and are priced 
according to height. 1" = $285; 1'/2"= S420; 2"= $550 


Call Maria Manaseri, Classified Manager. COMPUTE 1 
Woods Ct . Huntington. NY 11743. at 516-757-9562 


FREE LIST. Specify 64/128, Amiga or IBM. Centsible 
Software. PO Box 930. St. Joseph. MI 49085. 
Phone: 616-428-9096 BBS: 616-429-7211 


Works with VGA. EGA. CGA. MDA and HERCULES. 
Has "Boss" Key. Enable. Disable, and up to 1 hour de- 
lay. Package includes Appointment Calender. Send $15.00 
Check/M.O. to MIZAR TECHNOLOGIES. 300 Quaker 
Lane. Ste 7. Warwick. RI 02886. Specify disk size. 

Attention Software Designers. Small 
Software Company Looking to expand. 
Needs Business Application Software 
it can appropriate. Call (212) 488-8255. 



Free catalog or $2 for sample & cata- 
log (refundable). Specify computer. 
CALOKE IND (B), Box 18477, 
Raytown, MO 64133 

Circle Reader Service Number 319 







ROCHESTER, Ml 48308-2205 

Circle Reader Service Number 340 


Low prices since 1988! ASP Approved Vendor. Finto 
Software. Dept. M. Rt. 2, Box 44, Rosebud, TX 76570 
or Voice/FAX (800)859-5040. VISA/MC accepted. 

IBM - COMMODORE 64 & 1 28 - AMIGA 
1000's of PD/Shareware programs on lOO'.s 
of disks. Free listing or $1 for large 
descriptive catalog (.specify computer). 
DISKS O'PLENTY INC.. 8362 Pines Blvd.. 
Suite 270B. Pembroke Pines. FL 33024 


FREE VIDEO Accredited External Degree Programs-Com- 
puter Science. Business Management. Health Services Admin- 
istration. Criminal Justice Management. Psychology & Coun- 
seling. Education and other specialized programs. Undergrad- 
uate-Graduate. Financial Aid. (800) 292-7412. LA SALLE 
UNIVERSITY, Dept. 412. Mandeville. LA 70470-4000 


jA^go City and Guilds 
/ws, Institute 

vrtx? of North America 

for free info call 

Circle Reader Service Number 345 

fbomputerTrainTn7Ar Home"! 

I Independent Study in Computer Operation and 
. Programming. 150,000 graduates „ lTM , 

| since 1934. Send for free Course r^\ 1 

I Catalog. Cleveland Institute of 
Electronics, Dept. AZC06. 1776 E 
L17th St.. Cleveland. OH 44114 

■~ — — — ■■ ■« fio^ B ,^A 

Circle Reader Service Number 330 

The ONLY Lottery Systems With 
are those in Gail Howard's 
Call Toll-Free 1 -800-876-G-A-l-L 
(See Her Ad in Product Mart.) 

Circle Reader Service Number 328 


The Game Factory 

For all PC Shareware Games ($2.99ea) 
Free Call. Free Catalog. 


Circle Reader Service Number 324 



For IBM-Compatibles. 48 Adult Shareware 
Games, Demos, & Novelty Programs; 1000+ 
Sizzling Adult GIF Images, 140+ Mini-Movies, 
800+ Adult Stories, Adult Icons, BBS Doors, 
and More! Simple Menus; No Installation 
Necessary! $59. Dealers Welcome. 

We carry Many other Adult CD-ROM Titles for 
IBM and Macintosh, from the newest to the 
hard-to-find. Request our free lists. Specify 
age (21+) and Computer Type. 

Clearlight Software 
Dept. CCD, P.O. Box 1411 

Milwaukee, Wl 53201 
Voice/Fax (414) 962-2616 

Circle Reader Service Number 337 


Earn Degree at Home 

■> Earn BS/MS/MBA degree via ♦> Business Administration 

home study •> Environmental Studies 

•> Instructional VIDEOTAPES ♦ Computer Science 
For free 
catalogue call: 

Mcwker if vmli toSKltUox 

sfwUmstthi & collets 



"Learning not limited by classroom walk 

Circle Reader Service Number 332 

Learn Computers! 

Career-level home study. 
Learn how to use a personal 
computer for word processing 
spreadsheets, database, data 
communications, and much 
more. Send or call for 1 
free career literature. | 


Address _ 
City _ 

Age _ 



PCDI, 6065 Roswell Road 
Dept. KKH680. Atlanta. Georgia 30328 

Circle Reader Service Number 331 


flSrWj^w I 

* SVVin Millions 


Beat The Lottery 



Special Limited 


Lotto Picker ,m will uncover t, 


exploit these biases for your 


benefit No reams of useless 

^r ^ 

statistics or guesswork - tells you 

3f FREE! % 

exactly which numbers to play. 

The easiest, most effective 

program to use & understand. 

Pay only S&H 

GUARANTEED** work for all 

of $9.95 

lotteries worldwide 1 . 

LOTTO PICKER 3 'only HURRY! Offer Expires Soon! 

% && ?ggg/ 1-71 8-31 7-1 961 »ode 0644 

|GE Ridge, 848 Rennsselaer Av, Dept CP, St. Island, NY 103091 
For MS-DOS (TBM/Compats) only. Offer does not apply to Apple II 
or C64. Version 2. 1 for these machines may be purchased for $34.50 
each. NY residents please add sales lax. 

Circle Reader Service Number 317 


"Awesome action, fantastic graphics..." 

Featuring "try-before-you-buy" entertainment, business, 
personal, educational, Windows and utilities software for 
IBM/compatibles. Award Winners! Sample game: $3.00 
Prof. Rock, 7536 Forsythe, Suite 265, St. Louis, MO 63105 

FREE CATALOG: 1-800-821-7625 

Circle Reader Service Number 343 



We buy and sell used current & prior versions 
of most IBM compatible software. Completely 
DISKS guaranteed virus free. 
Call 8am-5pm EST Mon-Fri for free price list. 
RECYCLED SOFTWARE 1-800-851-2425 

Circle Reader Service Number 341 


B.S. &]VLSL 

In Computer Sciences 

• In-depth degree programs with all courses home study. i^h^^^b 

• BS courses include MS/DOS, BASIC. PASCAL, C, Data File AMERICAN 
Processing, Data Structures S Operating systems. INSTITUTE 

• MS courses include Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence mmim— 
and much more. COMPUTER 

For free information call 1 -800-767-2427 SCIENCES 

2101-CC Magnolia Ave. S. • Suite 200 • Birmingham, AL 35205 ^^^^™ 

Circle Reader Service Number 334 

Be a computer 
repair expert! 

Home study. You could earn 
great money troubleshooting, 
repairing, upgrading, and in- 
stalling PCs. Send or call now 
for free career literature. 


The School of PC Repair 

6065 Roswell Rd.. Dept.JJH680 

'J.'W . Atlanta Georgia 30328 
Circle Reader Service Number 335 



Jill Champion Booth 

Labels are 

easy with the 

P-Touch PC 

label printer from 


Barbie Goes High-Tech 

The world's most popular fash- 
ion doll is trying to change 
with the times — even to the 
point of entering the comput- 
er age. Hi Tech Expressions 
is offering three Barbie com- 
puter-game and videogame ti- 
tles targeted specifically at 
girls between the ages of 5 
and 11. In Barbie Super Mod- 
el, players interact with Bar- 
bie in her quest to become 
the hottest supermodel in the 
world ($64.95 for SNES, 
$59.95 for Sega Genesis, and 
$24.95 for PC). In Barbie, de- 
signed exclusively for NES 
($44.95), players explore 
three worlds of fun and fanta- 
sy while searching for the fash- 
ion treasures Barbie needs in 
order to attend the Fantasy 
Ball. Finally, in Barbie Game 
Girl (for the Game 
Boy, $29.95), Bar- 
bie discovers 
mysterious, pow- 
erful charms and 
makes some new 
friends while try- 
ing to find her 
way to the top of 
the Mall Maze, 
where she's meet- 
ing Ken for a 
date. OK, so she 
isn't exactly a 
nineties woman (she's a fash- 
ion doll, remember?); little girls 
love this stuff! Contact Hi 
Tech Expressions, 584 Broad- 
way, New York, New York 
10012; (212) 941-1224, (212) 
941-1521 (fax). 

Gather Up Those Dragon Tears 

Ready to trash some aliens? 
Outwit an empress? See a 
dragon cry? COMPUTE'S Ad- 
venture Game Player's Hand- 
book: Science Fiction and Fan- 
tasy will show you how with 
tips, strategies, step-by-step 
walk-throughs, and custom- 
designed maps for 18 of the 
hottest fantasy and science- 
fiction computer adventure 
games, including Iron Helix, 

Shadows of Darkness, Lost in 
Time, Betrayal at Krondor, Lab- 
yrinth of Time, and Dracula Un- 
leashed. Author and game 
master Raymond Leuders al- 
so includes plenty of illustra- 
tions and strategies that 
make it easier to win at any 
computer game. This newest 
release from COMPUTE 
Books retails for $18.95. 
Check your local computer- 
book retailer. 

A Multimedia Brute! 

For sure, there's nothing 
wimpy about ARES Microdevel- 
opment's new maxed-out mul- 
timedia system— except may- 
be its price. For $2,599, the 
Multimediares includes an 
i486DX2 processor running at 
66 MHz, 8MB of RAM expand- 
able to 64MB, a local-bus 
graphics accelerator with 
2MB of RAM, a 420MB hard 
drive with Enhanced IDE, a 
256K external RAM cache, a 
multisession double-speed 
CD-ROM drive, a 16-bit 
sound card with high-end ste- 
reo speakers, and a copy of 
TestDrive CD, which features 
more than $500 worth of free 
software. "People forget 
there's more to multimedia 
than just a CD-ROM drive 
and a sound card," says the 
company's president, Steve 
Wagstaff. You can bet ARES 
didn't forget. Contact the com- 
pany at 23660-A Research 
Drive, Farmington Hills, Michi- 
gan 48335; (313) 473-0808, 
(313) 473-4450 (fax). 

P-Touch PC Labeler 

Looking for a new way to la- 
bel your archive binders? 
Print signs? Create ID badg- 
es? Run address labels? 
Look no more: The P-Touch 
PC from Brother delivers high- 
quality labels easily and con- 
veniently right from your com- 
puter keyboard. Virtually any 
image that crosses your com- 
puter screen — any combina- 
tion of onscreen fonts, original 

graphics, bar codes, and 
even company logos — can 
be printed. You can print on- 
to laminated or plain adhesive 
labels. The P-Touch PC's ac- 
companying software in- 
cludes several custom fonts 
and label templates, supports 
both ATM and TrueType 
fonts, and provides more 
than 250 scalable symbols. 
You can also generate bar 
codes and, with the database 
component, produce running 
address labels. The P-Touch 
PC dedicated label printer is 
compatible with both the Mac 
and the PC (including a Win- 
dows version) and can be 
used right out of the box. 
Look for the P-Touch PC at 
your local Brother retailer. 

Art of the Twenty-first Century 

Just think of it as seeing 3-D 
without wearing glasses. The 
newest trend in computer-gen- 
erated art is the "5-D" stereo- 
gram — what looks like color- 
ful, but flat, abstract art until 
you stare at it. Once your 
eyes have adjusted to the pat- 
tern, a 3-D image pops out. 
Stereograms were created to 
study depth perception in hu- 
mans, but now you can get 
them just for fun on greeting 
cards, calendars, and wall 
prints from Blue Mountain 
Arts, one of the best-known al- 
ternative greeting-card publish- 
ers around. Retail prices 
range from $3.00 each for 
cards to $11.95 each for cal- 
endars. Look for them in your 
favorite novelty, book, or greet- 
ing-card store. 

Predicting the Future 

What else besides providing 
cool computer games and ap- 
plications has computer tech- 
nology done for you? For one 
thing, it's made neural net- 
works possible. Like the hu- 
man brain, a neural network 
can be trained to learn from 
its experiences. Neural-net- 
(continued on page 124) 



coming this summer 

for PC CD-ROM 1-800-238-4277 

For a free Harvester Demo video tape send a $3.95 check or money order for postage and 
handling to: Merit Software, 13707 Gamma Road, Dallas, TX 75244 

©1994 Merit Software. ©1994 Future Visionary, Inc. Harvester is registered trademark of Future Visionary, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 


I Wish My Parents Had ImagiNation." 

Call it PC envy, call me crazy... but they're having fun across the street and I want in! See, my buddy's parents got 
The ImagiNation Network™ and they're all playing and talking with new friends clear across the country - live, in real time. 
No kidding, I was over there last night and James (my friend) was dogfighting in this WWI flight simulator j^^^^ 
game called Red Baron® His cousins live 2,000 miles away, but that didn't stop them from sending James down in flames. 
After that, his mom got on and played speed chess j£ with TRISH, her on-line sister. And then, at midnight, his dad got 
on as ZORK2, Tff dungeon master of The Shadow of YserbiusT But don't bring it up, James is kind of sensitive about it. 
And talk about cool. The interface is full color and easy to understand, j | You just point and click and vou're 

there. Evenjamescandoit. 
Hey, I just figured out how to get mom and dad ImagiNation! The first month's basic membership is free! 

H Call and we'll send a free membership kit with 5 FREE HOURS* to explore The ImagiNation Network. You pay just $5.95 for shipping & handling. 

1-800-462-4461 /ext. 722 


The ImagiNation Network requires at least a 386 IBM PC compatible computer, a 2400 baud modem, a mouse and keyboard, and about 600 kb of available memory. Red Baron is a registered 
trademark ofDynamix, Inc. The Shadow ofYserbius is a trademark of The ImagiNation Network. *Free hours must be used within 30 days. For details on membership options and 
rates call 1-800-IMAGIN-l between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. P.D. T. Offer expires 9130194 and is available to first time members only. ©1994 The ImagiNation Network. All Rights Reserved.